A clear and readable how-to manual for results-oriented psychoanalysis.
By now, the term “practical psychoanalysis” has become an oxymoron. The way psychoanalytic treatment is generally conducted is extremely impractical and doesn’t serve the needs of the vast majority of potential patients, who want to achieve maximum relief from emotional distress as quickly as possible. This unfortunate state of affairs is ironic, considering that psychoanalysis became popular on the basis of its therapeutic efficacy.
In this essential new book, Owen Renik describes how clinical psychoanalysis can focus on symptom relief and deliver results efficiently. With a humane, direct, and engaging voice, he takes up how to begin treatment, how to end it, and how to deal with the in-between. He offers chapters on the therapy of panic attacks and depersonalization, on how to get out of an impasse, on the relation between sexual desire and power in the analytic relationship, on patients who seem to want to sabotage their treatments, on flying blind as an analyst, and on a number of other intriguing, important practical topics. Renik’s down-to-earth presentation and discussion of clinical anecdotes, combined with useful recommendations for both analyst and patient, amounts to a clear and readable how-to manual. The book is intended for all mental health caregivers, patients and potential patients, and for anyone who is curious about what makes for effective, helpful psychotherapy.