The traditional view of the therapeutic interaction fails to capture the heart of the process when it pictures the therapist as disinterested and distanced agent of change. Growing interest in the helpful use of countertransference reflects a shift toward a two-person view of treatment. There has been surprisingly little effort, however, to explore systematically the full potential of such a model for making sense of the therapeutic process. Emphasis on the relational aspect of treatment has too often been derisively equated with the idea that cure occurs through a sophisticated form of parental caring with the role of interpretation being essentially incidental. The fear of being discredited in this way has kept therapists from trying to conceptualize the ways in which a two-person process in fact underlies the patient's and therapist's search for meaning. Contrasts a One-person and a Two-person Analysis of an Initial Interview In Close Encounters, Dr. Robert Winer takes on this quest. He begins by dramatizing the differences through contrasting a one-person and a two-person analysis of an initial interview. Having demonstrated the problem he then reviews the ways in which both American and British authors have introduced relational considerations and shows how the intrapsychic and interpersonal views of man complement each other. Throughout the book, Dr. Winer illustrates his reasoning with clinical accounts in which he offers a frank and vivid description of his own participation. Marriage Can be Usefully Taken as a Metaphor for Therapy Dr. Winer explores the two-person view from a variety of vantage points. He suggests that the implicit model of therapy as a parent-child endeavor can be usefully revised by taking marriage as the metaphor. From another perspective, he suggests that the contemporary interest in narratives makes more sense when the storytelling is conceptualized as a two-person endeavor. Freud's account of his treatment of the Wolf Man is offered as a cautionary tale to illustr
A wonderful book, clear, independent-minded, knowing, and wry. It may be the first extended clinical discussion that takes the interpersonal viewpoint to its logical endpoints: that the field is so complex as often to be unknowable, that we must study ourselves and our situations with at least as much energy and intelligence as we study the patients', that the method is not 'narrative' or 'objective truth, ' but negotiation and collaboration.--Leston Havens, M.D.