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Relational Theory and the Practice of Psychotherapy


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Table of Contents

1. Context and Relationship in Psychotherapy: An Introduction2. How Do We Understand Another Person? One-Person and Two-Person Perspectives3. The Dynamics of Personality: One-Person and Two-Person Views4. From Two-Person to Contextual: Beyond Infancy and the Consulting Room5. Drives, Relationships, and the Foundations of the Relational Point of View6. The Limits of the Archaeological Vision: Relational Theory and the Cyclical-Contextual Model7. Self-States, Dissociation, and the Schemas of Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity8. Exploration, Support, Self-Acceptance, and the "School of Suspicion"9. Insight, Direct Experience, and the Implications of a New Understanding of Anxiety10. Enactments, New Relational Experience, and Implicit Relational Knowing11. Confusions about Self-Disclosure: Real Issues, Pseudo-Issues, and the Inevitability of Trade-Offs12. The "Inner" World, the "Outer" World, and the Lived-In World: Mobilizing for Change in the Patient's Daily Life

About the Author

Paul L. Wachtel, PhD, is CUNY Distinguished Professor in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Yale University and is a graduate of the postdoctoral program in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy at New York University, where he is also a faculty member. Dr. Wachtel has lectured and given workshops throughout the world on psychotherapy, personality theory, and the applications of psychological theory and research to the major social issues of our time. He has been a leading voice for integrative thinking in the human sciences and was a cofounder of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration. Dr. Wachtel is a recipient of the Hans H. Strupp Memorial Award for psychoanalytic writing, teaching, and research; the Distinguished Psychologist Award from Division 29 (Psychotherapy) of the American Psychological Association (APA); and the Scholarship and Research Award from Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of APA.


"'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... This book will become a classic; it belongs in the libraries of therapists of all orientations'" - Nancy McWilliams, PhD, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA "'There is a new wind blowing in psychoanalysis... 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 toward more effective approaches to intervention, and to cognitive-behavioral therapists who wish to explore the richness of the psychotherapeutic relationship and of inner experience.'" - James Pretzer, PhD, Director, Cleveland Center for Cognitive Therapy, USA "'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.'" - Robert D. Stolorow, PhD, founding faculty member, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, USA "'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, USA "'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, Journal of Contemporary Psychoanalysis

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