From time to time therapists find themselves in a bind-faced with a challenging situation, unsure how to proceed. Such a conundrum leaves the therapist on edge, concerned that the success of treatment might rest on how he or she responds to the circumstance. The situation seems to call for more than pat clinical protocol, leaving the therapist uncertain as he or she ventures into novel territory wondering “what do I do now?”
Conundrums and Predicaments in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: The Clinical Moments Project comprises twelve distinct clinical moments during which the treating/presenting analyst feels him- or herself in just such a quandary. The presented moment comes to a head at a point where the therapist feels uncertain what his or her next and best “move” might be-one that balances the protection of the therapeutic alliance with the need to address a clinical development head on. Space is then left for 25 well-known analysts (“commentators”) of varying theoretical persuasions to weigh in, sharing what they think about the situation and how they imagine they might have proceeded.
In the final analysis, the point of this project is not to determine how the moment “should” have been handled given the input of experts; rather, it aims to illuminate the clinical theories that therapists carry with them into sessions where they operate implicitly, directing their attention to select sorts of data that are then used to fashion an intervention. This, then, is the ultimate lesson of the Clinical Moments Project-to learn how to listen to how therapists listen to the unfolding material. This book will be of great interest to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists of all persuasions.