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Radomisli, M. (1964). An Introduction to Psychotherapy. By Sidney Tarachow, M.D. New York: International Universities Press. Pp. viii+376.. Psychoanal. Rev., 51C(3):195-196.

(1964). Psychoanalytic Review, 51C(3):195-196

Book Reviews

An Introduction to Psychotherapy. By Sidney Tarachow, M.D. New York: International Universities Press. Pp. viii+376.

Review by:
Michel Radomisli

It is always difficult and often impossible to make sense of human behavior. Defining, understanding, describing and teaching the psychotherapeutic process is so overwhelmingly difficult that many practitioners have abandoned scientific method in what is truly a scientific problem, and are now engaged in making a virtue of their metaphysical ideologies and atheoretical experiences of enlightenment. Dr. Tarachow, fortunately for all of us, considers psychoanalytic theory the best conceptual system for the scientific scrutiny of behavior, and classical psychoanalytic technique the basis for thinking about psychotherapy as well as the springboard to its understanding. He avoids idle polemics regarding the merits of this framework, states his problem, specifies his premises, and gets to work, always with didactic skill, at times with virtuosity.

The book is directed to psychiatric residents and their supervisors and is based primarily on conferences with residents and supervisors at Hillside and Kings County Hospitals. The quasi-Platonic conference-transcript method of presentation is occasionally cumbersome but it always successfully illustrates the writer's admirable skill in pitching technical discussions at a level appropriate to a necessarily heterogeneous group whose members are generally not in analysis or analytic training. The theoretical exposition in the introductory chapters presupposes more than an elementary knowledge of psychoanalytic theory to the extent that the title of the book, taken at face value, is misleading.

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