|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews| Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsGod & TherapyHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Psychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
by Jon Frederickson
Seven Leaves Press, 2013
Review by Kyra Grosman, Psy.D. on Mar 4th 2014
Jon Frederickson, the author of this eminently useful new work for clinicians interested in learning about the theory and practice of intensive short term dynamic psychotherapy, is a co-founder of the ISTDP Institute and co-chair of the ISTDP Training Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry, where he has taught for the past 25 years. His stated goal is to explicitly teach clinicians how to provide therapy, just as he was explicitly taught how to play music when he was training to become and worked as a professional musician. All of those years of teaching pay off for the reader, because this book is a master class in theory and practice. Although there are seemingly countless books written about psychodynamic psychotherapy, most do a poor job of describing how clinicians might actually effectively practice psychodynamically under the constraints most of us currently face: one (or at most two) sessions per week, and in therapies that are time-limited. (Short-term in this instance refers to therapies generally lasting less than a year). This book, in contrast, is both theoretically rich while providing concrete suggestions and ideas about how to incorporate ISTDP principles into one's own practice.
Following in the tradition of Habib Davanloo, a Harvard University psychiatriest and trained analyst who pioneered ISTDP from the 1960s to the 1990s, Frederickson makes accessible to the new clinician both the theory and practice of ISTDP in a way that previous books written on the topic have not managed to do. His manual emphasizes the importance of taking an active stance in order to allow patients to experience avoided and unconscious emotion. In order to do this, he convincingly argues for the importance of helping pateints to correctly label their feelings and experience those feelings in his or her body. (A third step in Davanloo’s process, experiencing the bodily impulse, receives noticeably less thorough attention in Frederickson’s book). Although these steps are theoretically simple, in practice most patients are highly defended. Frederickson’s tome is an exhaustive treatise explaining, in moment-to-moment vignettes, how to help the patient along in this process. In contrast to other case write-ups in ISTDP, where transcripts of entire sessions are often provided, he provides numerous shorter snippets of dialogue and analyzes the provided dialogue line by line.
One of the absolute strengths of this book is Frederickson’s ability to explicitly describe how bodily experiences of anxiety are manifested. In so doing, he provides information regarding easily observable bodily responses that can help the therapist help the patient regulate his or her anxiety. Anxiety regulation is of course important because we want the patient’s anxiety to remain at a level that is productive but tolerable. If a patient’s anxiety is too low, no significant work will happen. If it’s too high, the client will become flooded and overwhelmed. This is one example of the way Frederickson provides information that fully accessible and immediately applicable. I would say that this chapter alone is worth the price of the book.
At 532 pages, this book is fairly long, and there appear to be parts that are redundant. Re-reading the book gave me the sense that Frederickson has a clear plan in mind, and is playing variations on a theme in the later chapters. I am willing to believe that what seems like repetition, repetition, repetition is more than the rhetorical device of a teacher intent on repeating information until a (somewhat dull) student retains the information. However, even with two passes, the overall plan remained somewhat opaque.
Frederickson makes frequent reference in his book to videos he has created, both on YouTube, which are free, and on his website, most of which are not. Although this constant self-promotion was initially off-putting, the videos he’s produced did indeed help to deepen my understanding of the material. After reading his book several times, I purchased some of his training materials on-line and am considering enrolling in a three-year training program through the ISTDP. It has literally been years since I have been as excited by a book that I’ve read about therapy as this one. This book is likely intended for early career therapists, but it is rich enough to be enjoyed by more seasoned practitioners as well. For clinicians interested in exploring the practice of intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy, this book is a must-read.
© 2014 Kyra Grosman
Kyra Grosman, Psy.D. has a clinical psychotherapy practice in Manhattan. She may be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (646)418-6095.