A Question of Time: Essentials of Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy

Author(s) : Angela Molnos

A Question of Time: Essentials of Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy

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This book aims to describe and explain the bias against brief psychotherapy, whilst stressing the importance of actively challenging resistance and working through the transference. It also covers the positive use of anger - even from the first session.

As a group analyst concerned with social and psychological issues, Dr Angela Molnos brings a unique perspective to bear on the problems raised, both for society and the individual, by the confusion and the prejudice surrounding HIV infection and the Aids epidemic. Recognizing that these problems can vitiate even the most enlightened health care policies, she draws on her experience gained by working in several countries to put the case for the application of group analysis, through the organization of staff support groups, to those directly concerned with policy implementation; The carers themselves.

In the first part of her book Dr Molnos demonstrates how, if unchecked, conscious and unconscious prejudice can promote destructive tendencies within the groups involved with HIV and AIDS patients. The second part recounts the author's experiences, and insights gained, during the course of a workshop convened in London in December 1987. The third and final section puts forward the case for applying group analysis to the health services in the HIV/AIDS sphere, and includes Dr Molnos' account of her work with a group of health advisers and the subsequent improvements in working practice obtained through the use of group-analytic method.

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‘Like her subject matter, Molnos’ book is brief - definitely good bedside material. And again, like her subject matter, Molnos sticks to the point and does it well, ensuring that the book is fairly concise and definitely readable. It is also a valuable resource as it contains an extensive bibliography as well as a number of useful diagrams. The book should appeal to a range of readers, from those new to psychotherapy, to those who want to be reminded of the value and skill of brief dynamic work.’
- Colleen Heenan

‘What is original about her work is the way in which the developing thread of Dr. Molnos’ intellectual interest in disparate areas is woven into a powerful argument that challenges prejudice and the collusive avoidance of the truth of human suffering. Hers is a deeply analytic, psycho-dynamic approach. She describes and explains tellingly the bias against brief dynamic psychotherapy, at the same time stressing the importance of actively challenging resistance and working through transference. Dr. Molnos describes well the committed and engaged attitude required of the therapist. The clinical examples are short but compelling. She stresses the importance of using anger in a positive way, even from the first session - an ability that characterizes what she calls “The Relentless Healer”. But for brief dynamic psychotherapy to be effective, Dr. Molnos insists that confrontation has to be simultaneously balanced by holding even from the start.
’In my view, all psychotherapists will benefit from reading this short book. This includes those non-analytical psychotherapists with a superficially optimistic view of brief work, and perhaps particularly those analytical psychotherapists “addicted” to long-term work, whether individual or group.’
- Dennis Brown from his Foreword

'This book should convince both individual carers and their managers that group analysis has much to offer and can produce tangible results. I hope that one effect of Dr Molnos' book will be to interest people in a wider application of group analytic staff support techniques within the Health Service.'
- Dr Deirdre Cunningham, Director of Public Health for Parkside Health Authority, from her Introduction

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