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Optimal Responsiveness : How Therapists Heal Their Patients - Howard A. Bacal

Optimal Responsiveness

How Therapists Heal Their Patients

Hardcover Published: 28th January 1998
ISBN: 9780765701145
Number Of Pages: 392

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A generation of dynamic therapists is starting to look at what actually heals the patient, in contrast to the classical Freudian vision, according to which interpretation is the essential contribution of the therapist and insight is its chief therapeutic effect. There is a growing awareness among practitioners of what patients have always known - that the successful therapeutic experience derives not only and probably not primarily from the insight rooted in interpretation but rather from a relationship of optimal responsiveness. Ferenczi, Alexander, and such object relations theorists as Balint, Winnicott and more recently Kohut, anticipated the idea of optimal responsiveness, which legitimizes a range of psychodynamic behaviours (emphatic attunement, confrontation, support, self-disclosure, validation or invalidation), except where they interfere with the therapist's personal tolerance or professional functioning. Optimal responsiveness implies recognition of the therapeutic process as a reciprocal system for each therapist-patient dyad. Reciprocity in turn implies reconceptualization of what is known as countertransference. Howard Bacal illustrates both principles and applications of optimal responsiveness in 17 chapters informed by emerging understandings in self psychology and intersubjective relational perspectives.

Industry Reviews

The term optimal responsiveness, like Oedipus complex, primal scene, and selfobject, has great evocative power. The reader is helped to follow the multifaceted discourse, which begins at the core of the two-person clinical exchange, by Bacal's careful grouping of papers and his easily comprehended introductions. The book retains its intimate connection to the question of what helps people (patients and therapists), and the reader comes away with a sense of the profound evolution of the psychoanalytic approach and our understanding of it over the last quarter century. Intellectually stimulating and extremely useful to the practicing professional.--Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D.

Optimal Responsiveness and the Therapeutic Processp. 3
Optimal Responsiveness and Neutrality, Abstinence, and Anonymityp. 35
Optimal Responsiveness and a New View of Structuralizationp. 59
Optimal Responsiveness and a Search for Guidelinesp. 75
Optimal Responsiveness from Abstinence to Usabilityp. 97
Optimal Responsiveness and Listening/Experiencing Perspectivesp. 117
Optimal Responsiveness and the Specificity of Selfobject Experiencep. 141
Optimal Responsiveness and the Experience of Sharingp. 175
Optimal Responsiveness and Subject-Subject Relatingp. 191
Optimal Responsiveness and Enactmentsp. 213
Optimal Responsiveness and Disruption-Restorationsp. 237
Optimal Responsiveness and the Therapist's Reaction to the Patient's Unresponsivenessp. 249
Optimal Responsiveness and a Systems View of the Empathic Processp. 273
Is Empathic Attunement the Only Optimal Response?p. 289
Optimal Responsiveness in a Systems Approach to Representational and Selfobject Transferencesp. 305
Optimal Responsiveness and the Subjective and Intersubjective Experiences of Psychotherapistsp. 329
Optimal Responsiveness and Psychoanalytic Supervisionp. 357
Creditsp. 383
Indexp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780765701145
ISBN-10: 0765701146
Series: X Planes of the Third Reich Series
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 28th January 1998
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 16.08  x 3.15
Weight (kg): 0.72

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