There is a great deal of confusion about psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, even among practitioners of these methods. One reason is the sheer volume of psychoanalytic psychotherapies currently practised around the world; some very similar, others widely divergent. To help allay this confusion, Kevin Volkan and Vamık Volkan present what lies at the heart of psychoanalysis and demonstrate the different ways this core can manifest in practice.
The authors’ aim is to improve psychoanalytic psychotherapists’ professional identities as well as their approaches to patients. The wide-ranging subjects discussed include therapeutic principles; key psychoanalytic concepts; psychotherapeutic identity; the clinician’s office; making formulations and interpretations; psychosocial development; individual and large-group identity; trauma and transgenerational transmission; dreams and unconscious fantasies; therapeutic play; personality organisations; cultural considerations; and psychoanalysis in organisations and groups.
Volkan and Volkan draw upon their decades of experience of psychoanalysis, biculturalism, and supervision of colleagues in various countries and cultures to create an exceptional textbook to explain psychoanalytic theory clearly. They present compelling case examples to illustrate technical issues that never lose sight of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy as living professions that continue to develop. This is a must-read for all who want to learn more about psychoanalytic practice and theory.