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Coleman, M.L. (1958). Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique. By Karl Menninger, M.D. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1958. 206 pp. + xiii. $4.75.. Psychoanal. Rev., 45C(3):118-121.

(1958). Psychoanalytic Review, 45C(3):118-121

Book Reviews

Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique. By Karl Menninger, M.D. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1958. 206 pp. + xiii. $4.75.

Review by:
Marie L. Coleman

Out of some forty years' experience as clinician and supervisory analyst, Karl Menninger has synthesized a work which should claim first place as the technical and ethical “bible” of psychoanalysis for years to come. This excellent text on the theory of therapy is noteworthy for its logical mode of presentation, its simple—but not oversimplified—exposition of complex ideas, its firm adherence to defined subject matter and its avoidance of gratuitous philosophical extrusions.

The book is prefaced by a short historical survey of the development of psychoanalytic training centers and the evolution of the literature on technique. It presents the author's seminal views on the communication of attitudes prerequisite for the practice of the profession to candidates in training. Of fundamental importance is the understanding of the analytic contract, and Dr. Menninger's first chapter is devoted to a discussion of the similarities and differences between the psychotherapeutic contract of analyst and patient and other two—party agreements. Paramount among these is the recognition that the patient pays “not for the relief of suffering or the dispelling of his affliction” but for the “attention and observation of the analyst.” (p. 22)

There follow comprehensive chapters on regression, transference and countertransference, resistance, interpretation and intervention, and the termination of the contract. Throughout, the author's seasoned maturity finds reflection in his integrative approach to controversial areas.

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