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December 1967

The Technique and Practice of Psychoanalysis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(6):768. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730300128026

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Dr. Ralph R. Greenson is a superb therapist, a brilliant teacher, an entrancing ex-temporaneous lecturer, and a charismatic personality. It is not unexpected that as an author of a badly needed text book, of which this is the first volume on the technique of psychoanalysis, his production should make fascinating reading and an effective pedagogical instrument.

Greenson makes only passing reference to the theory essential for technique; he is more interested and adept in describing techniques with references to illustrative clinical vignettes. His reading lists and bibliography are amazingly complete. The book has both author and subject indices.

Naturally, Greenson is critical of modifications of the classical psychoanalytic techniques such as Alexander proposed. Yet, I believe his book can be profitably studied by those interested in psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy, as well as those who limit themselves to psychoanalysis. Although I would disagree with Greenson on a number of points, there is no question that he has written the best book yet on psychoanalytic technique; I recommend it highly not only for students, but also practitioners.

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