Diversity and Direction in Psychoanalytic Technique


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Fred Pine

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New diversity in psychoanalytic technique offers analysts and therapists a wide array of treatment options. But many of these techniques, says Dr. Fred Pine, can be viewed as additions to a clinician’s approach rather than substitutes. Access to more treatment choices enables the clinician to better meet the multiple challenges encountered daily in a psychoanalytic practice. Dr. Pine urges clinicians to be flexible and integrative as they select, test, and then use or reject diverse treatment techniques, and he shows how this may be done. He warns that adhering too closely to a powerful theory of technique can prevent the therapist from doing the best for the patient.

This book is both a highly personal statement by an experienced clinician and teacher and a concise discussion of selected issues that confront the practicing psychoanalyst today. Focusing specifically on technique, the volume is rich in clinical reasoning, clinical concepts, and clinical examples. The author establishes some of the sources of the current diversity in technique, then illustrates and evaluates some of the many pathways the clinician may choose. Practicing psychoanalysts and therapists will find enrichment in the intellectual searchings and open-minded approach of this valuable book.

Fred Pine is emeritus professor, department of psychiatry (psychology), Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has practiced psychotherapy and, later, psychoanalysis since 1956. He is also the author of Developmental Theory and Clinical Process, published by Yale University Press.

A selection of the Behavioral Sciences Book Club and the Psychotherapy Book Club

"Into our present period of parochial polemics, Fred Pine's overview of technique comes like a warm spring breeze dispelling smoke and fog. Believing that 'clinical technique . . . is additive, not substitutive' and resisting the simplicities of self-serving eclecticism, Pine spells out for us the many ways our multiple analytic points of view can be integrated, with that integration ever shaped to the specific and ever-changing needs of each particular patient. A partisan of no single school, Pine with striking discipline and uncommon sense is able to apply the best and eliminate the excess of each school. Pine provides a review of the major points of view of technique enriched by often touching vignettes each bearing the ring of clinical truth. The wisdom in this model of good judgment, in this respectful overview of diversity in technique, is based on a combination of broad clinical experience, serious study, and personal modesty, all expressed in a sweet lucidity rare in professional writing. Reading this short volume brings the excitement and delight of taking part in a master class."—Warren S. Poland, M.D. 



"Dr. Pine's new book, Diversity and Direction in Psychoanalytic Technique, is the logical, eloquent plea of a sophisticated psychoanalyst and skilled theoretician for the integration of psychoanalytic knowledge. He does not advocate a blending of ideas via reductionism, a denial of differences, but rather the development of a receptivity to diverse points of view, with the aim of finding the most useful adaptation of technique for each individual patient. He recognizes that what may be useful with a patient at one moment may not be indicated at another; that not only do patients differ from one another, but their capacity to understand and utilize the analyst's interventions differs from one moment to another. This book is a genuine pleasure to read; both the beginning therapist and the most seasoned clinician will learn from it."—Judith F. Chused, M.D.

"Pine's attitude has a refreshing openness. . . . [This is] an excellent book that challenges the reader with contemporary and classical citations and gratifies that effort with wonderful clinical illustrations."—Fred G. Hilkert, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

"Intelligent, comprehensive, subtle, and usable. The volume under review continues and builds on [Pine’s] earlier work of integration. . . . The subtlety of Pine’s approach is in the way(s) in which the four psychologies are brought into play in the clinical situation. Not only is there no insistence that one psychology should fit all patients, there is further no insistence that a particular patient is to be understood exclusively by one of the four psychologies."—James Phillips, Contemporary Psychoanalysis

"A concise description of the clinical approach by an expert who can elucidate the theory underlying his work. . . . This text should interest any psychotherapist whose work is informed by psychoanalytic theory and who uses some techniques derived from psychoanalysis. Pine provides a readable, balanced summary of the 4 main branches of psychoanalytic theory and the techniques that derive from them."—Paul Ian Steinberg, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

"This book deserves to be read by every psychoanalytic clinician."—Jacob G. Jacobson, JAPA

"Psychoanalysis needs this kind of fair pluralistic statement to combat the paradigm warfare that occupies so much of psychoanalytic writing. This is a serious work and is highly recommended."—Joseph Reppen, editor of Psychoanalytic Books and Psychoanalytic Psychology

ISBN: 9780300073447
Publication Date: April 20, 1998
242 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4