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Goldberg, H. (1971-72). Games Analysts Play. Martin Shepard and Marjorie Lee. New York: Putnam's Sons, 1970. 189. Psychoanal. Rev., 58(4):644-645.

(1971-72). Psychoanalytic Review, 58(4):644-645

Games Analysts Play. Martin Shepard and Marjorie Lee. New York: Putnam's Sons, 1970. 189

Review by:
Helen Goldberg

This book is aimed at uncovering the “inauthentic encounters,” the “unproductive transactions” (games) engaged in by analysts. The authors view much of classical analytic theory and technique as not being helpful to patients and, instead, press for an action-oriented, behavioral approach to therapy. Those whose practice is guided in large measure by Freudian theory and methods are seen as effete individuals, so overwhelmed by their own feelings of inferiority, sexuality and aggressiveness in regards to their patients that they can only substitute games injurious to the patient instead of offering them a real therapeutic relationship.

According to the authors, analysts of this description should be criticized and condemned, but their book is not effective in this respect. Professional readers will have to dismiss it because of misinterpretations of theory and misstatements of fact. The concept of counter-transference is distorted and made to appear as an arbitrary dictum standing in the way of meaningful interchange between patient and analyst as well as a tool used by control analysts against their students. Similarly, the possibility of behavioral change occurring as a result of insight as well as the meaning of “talking out” rather than “acting out” is misunderstood. Perhaps the authors' most serious fault is their dichotomizing of the therapeutic approach—the reader is left with the feeling that either an analyst is a behaviorist and therefore effective or a classical analyst and therefore ineffective.

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