What do Patients Want?: Psychoanalytic Perspectives from the Couch

Author(s) : Christine A.S. Hill

What do Patients Want?: Psychoanalytic Perspectives from the Couch

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2010
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 240
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 28685
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855757196
  • ISBN 10 : 1855757192
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What do Patients Want? provides readers with an insight into patients' psychoanalytic experiences "from the couch".

Outcome studies have usually privileged the practitioner or researcher's voice, whilst underutilizing the rich published accounts of patients' own stories. Thus very little is understood or valued as to what actually takes place between patient and analyst, from the patient's perspective. This book sets out to tell the stories of eighteen ex-patients who, in interviews, reflected upon their experiences and described the factors which they believed were helpful - or not - in their analytic treatment. Free associating to an open question about how they understood and gave meaning to their personal journeys, these patients provided very vivid accounts of their analyses, demonstrated with clinical material. Their stories generally indicate a sophisticated understanding of the analytic process.

Significant findings are discussed in each chapter, and then key conceptual issues are brought together at the end. The book is written in a journey format with each chapter related to a specific theme. The patients describe how the whole process began, and then bring up issues linked with working through the transference/ counter-transference relationship in its multi-faceted aspects, and finally reflect upon the termination period and its aftermath.

Reviews and Endorsements

This is one of few published books which presents psychoanalysis from the patient's experiences. This study has far-reaching implications for both theory and clinical practice in psychoanalysis.

'Most accounts of a patients' experience in analysis are autobiographical and therefore highly selective for good and bad. Finally, here is a level-headed account from sensitive interviews that explore the patients' experiences on the couch. This is a beautiful report of a qualitative study, conducted with great respect and compassion, which moves the field forward by presenting this unique process through the patients' narratives rather than via the sometimes rose-tinted spectacles of the clinician. We should be indebted to Hill for the clarity and integrity of her representation and to the patients for the sometimes painfully honest and fascinating accounts of what they encountered along the analytic journey. This is a remarkable opportunity for all clinicians to take a look at themselves at work. It should be compulsory reading for all those in training and for all those who practise psychoanalytic therapy.'
- Peter Fonagy

'Christine Hill's book is a novel edition to the literature on the outcome of psychoanalysis. Reading the detailed, often poignant and only rarely cynical, comments by these ex-analysands is deeply gratifying to the salesman, the consumer, the voyeur, the student, and the researcher within all of us. Hill's comprehensive treatment of the subject leaves us with insights that can only enhance the grasp and praxis of our enterprise.'
- Salman Akhtar, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

'The considerable strength of this book is its intelligent and original review of the basics of technique like transference and countertransference, with respect to patients' grasp of what psychoanalysis is; comments on the remarkable paucity of literature of any type from patients' perspectives; with a concluding chapter on the network of findings useful to the clinician. I was particularly struck by the findings regarding power dynamics in the section on patient-partner not patient-victim; the orientation of the patients as part of establishing a working alliance; comments on the rigidity or flexibility of the analyst's personality vis a vis theoretical school; and the role of the patient in setting outcomes. Dr Hill has produced a gem that will linger for a long time in the minds of its readers.'
- Stuart W.Twemlow MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Menninger Department of Psychiatry, Baylor College Medicine, Houston, Texas Teaching Faculty, Houston Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute, Senior Psychiatrist, The Menninger Clinic Hospital

About the Author(s)

Christine A. S. Hill, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist working with individuals and groups. Both her Masters and Ph.D were in the field of psychoanalysis. She has a background in primary school teaching, general and emergency nursing, clinical tutoring in both psychological medicine and counselling psychology, and research and clinical work at the Mental Health Research Institute, Melbourne. Christine is a Past President of the Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists; a member of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia and the Psychoanalytic Studies Association of Australasia; and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) College of Research Fellows. She is currently Regional Editor for the Southern Hemisphere of the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. Christine has presented at several international conferences, published papers, and received two funding grants from the IPA to assist with her doctoral exploration of patients' perspectives of psychoanalysis, now the basis of this book.

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