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Relational Theory and the Practice of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
  • Relational Theory and the Practice of Psychotherapy (Paperback)

Relational Theory and the Practice of Psychotherapy (Paperback)

Paperback 338 Pages / Published: 17/12/2010
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This important and innovative book explores a new direction in psychoanalytic thought that can expand and deepen clinical practice. Relational psychoanalysis diverges in key ways from the assumptions and practices that have traditionally characterized psychoanalysis. At the same time, it preserves, and even extends, the profound understanding of human experience and psychological conflict that has always been the strength of the psychoanalytic approach. Through probing theoretical analysis and illuminating examples, the book offers new and powerful ways to revitalize clinical practice.

See also Wachtel's Therapeutic Communication, Second Edition: Knowing What to Say When, an integrative, practical guide for therapists of all orientations.

Publisher: Guilford Publications
ISBN: 9781609180454
Number of pages: 338
Weight: 452 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


"There is a new wind blowing in psychoanalysis. Contemporary theorists and clinicians are rethinking fundamental assumptions of psychoanalytic practice and searching for more effective ways to understand patients and help them overcome problems. This conceptually rich volume reexamines the nature of the psychotherapeutic relationship, the place of systemic thinking in psychoanalytic theory, and the role of insight, experience, and acceptance in psychotherapy. It will be valuable to psychodynamic therapists working towards more effective approaches to intervention, and to cognitive-behavioral therapists who wish to explore the richness of the psychotherapeutic relationship and of inner experience. It would be an excellent text for a graduate seminar exploring contemporary approaches to psychoanalysis or integrative approaches to psychotherapy."--James Pretzer, PhD, Director, Cleveland Center for Cognitive Therapy

"Wachtel has written yet another classic! This is a book of utmost importance to the field of psychotherapy, one that will benefit both the beginning student and the most seasoned practitioner. Wachtel elucidates the radical clinical implications of the relational turn in psychoanalysis. He shows how this emerging contextualist paradigm lends itself to meaningful integration with a range of modern psychotherapies. Wachtel is not only an important clinical contributor; he is also a master teacher. You will want to read and reread this book."--Lewis Aron, PhD, Director, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University

"Wachtel's magnificent book is a truly remarkable combination of rigorous, comprehensive scholarship and practical clinical wisdom. He brings together the whole range of relational thinking in psychoanalysis in presenting a fully contextual understanding of human emotional experience and its therapeutic transformation. In so doing, he spells out in rich clinical detail the implications of a relational perspective and sensibility for the actual practice of psychotherapy. I highly recommend this clinician-friendly book to students, trainees, and seasoned practitioners of psychotherapy."--Robert D. Stolorow, PhD, founding faculty member, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles

"We have needed a book like this. Wachtel has artfully charted the sea change from classical to intersubjective formulations and has made clear what the relational turn means for clinicians. His writing is direct and unaffected, and yet so nuanced that both novice therapists and seasoned colleagues will benefit from his perspective. In a voice that is unfailingly respectful and integrative, Wachtel explores core elements of the contemporary relational movement, ties those themes to relevant clinical challenges, and in the process provides a condensed but remarkably comprehensive course in the history of psychoanalytic ideas. This book will become a classic; it belongs in the libraries of therapists of all orientations."--Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

"A very significant undertaking. I am completely delighted that this book has been written, and even more pleased that it was Paul Wachtel who did it. Who else could have brought the ideas and clinical practice of Relational psychoanalysis to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapists? No one. Wachtel has hit the ball out of the park. He shows Relational psychoanalysis to be the examination and creation of meaning in its interpersonal context, and illustrates how old meanings, themselves created in the contexts of their times, are recontextualized in the here and now. I have been frustrated for decades that most people--including psychotherapists--do not know how much psychoanalysis has changed since the era still being portrayed in New Yorker cartoons. This book is a major contribution, and it may just be the beginning of a new conversation."--Donnel B. Stern, PhD, coeditor, Contemporary Psychoanalysis

"Every family therapist should read this book! Wachtel offers a depth of insight and comprehensiveness of vision that will open new worlds to the systemically trained reader. His relational version of psychoanalytic thought shares family therapy's commitment to understanding people in the context of the key relationships in their lives, enabling the insights of depth psychology and systems thinking to be integrated in new and important ways. This remarkable book will be an instant classic."--Marcia Sheinberg, LCSW, Director of Training and Clinical Services, Ackerman Institute for the Family

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