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'Putting aside the narcissistic-masochistic aspiration of authoring a text on all the intricacies of in-depth psychotherapy, I have chosen to address five areas of difficulty in this enterprise. This relatively restricted focus has made it possible to tackle matters in their true complexity and intrigue. The loss of breadth is thus compensated by the gain in depth. The areas I have chosen to explicate pertain to initial assessment, boundaries, money, disruptions, and suicidal crises. Over three decades of clinical experience has taught me that most problems in the course of dynamic psychotherapy involve these areas; their proper understanding and management is key to productive therapeutic work. Each chapter of this compact book tackles one of these areas in detail, outlining not only the conceptual issues at hand but also the technical strategies that emanate from them...'While theoretical grounding does serve as a preamble for delineation of its technical strategies, the book is replete with clinical vignettes and explicatory comments that illustrate the interventions I am proposing as useful. The final tendency involves the fact that the book is not intended to break fresh ground in any sort of dramatic manner; it is aimed to introduce the younger generation of therapists to ways of thinking and working that I, and many others like me, have found clinically useful. I have written it in the hope that some patients of the younger colleagues and students who read it might end up receiving better care as a result. My fervent scribbling is nothing but a therapeutic intervention, even though made indirectly and through the changed attention and voice of other therapists towards their patients. Its goal is to help others help still others better.'- From the author's introduction
Salman Akhtar, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He is the Book Review Editor of the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, Film Review Editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is the author of a number of books, including 'Broken Structures', 'Inner Torment', 'Immigration and Identity', 'New Clinical Realms', 'Objects of Our Desire', and 'Regarding Others'. He has also conbributed to many edited books. Dr Akhtar is the recipient of the Best Paper of the Year Award (1995) and Edith Sabshin Award (2000) from the American Psychoanalytic Association (1995), Kun Po Soo Award (2004) and Irma Bland Award (2005) from the American Psychiatric Association, Sigmund Freud Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychoanalysis from the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians (2000), Henry and Page Laughlin Teaching Award from the American College of Psychoanalysts (2003), and Robert Liebert for Distinguished Contributions to Culture and Psychoanalysis from the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Education and Research (2003).