The world has long awaited compelling and unmistakable evidence for the validity of dynamic psychotherapy. A review in the present book shows that such evidence has been accumulating over the past ten years. It comes from clinical trials, process research, case studies, and objective physiological measurements concerned with the importance of expressing emotions.This book extends the evidence. It provides an in-depth examination of therapy in action, based on verbatim accounts of the treatment of seven patients by Patricia Coughlin Della Selva, using the technique of Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (at times extending to medium-term). This technique has been shown to be both effective and cost-effective with a wide range of patients, including some who are notoriously resistant to psychotherapeutic intervention.The raw data of psychotherapeutic sessions enables the reader to trace the origin of therapeutic effects, which occur immediately in response to the direct experience of hitherto buried feelings and impulses.
The validity of psychodynamic concepts such as resistance, transference, and the origin of neurotic disturbances in defences against intolerable feelings, is demonstrated beyond doubt.In-depth follow-up interviews provide clear evidence of the long-term benefits of dynamic psychotherapy. Patients continue to improve long after termination, as each symptom and defence has been replaced by something healthy and lifegiving. With all but one patient no trace of any of the original disturbances could be detected at follow-up, which is one of the defi nitions of "total resolution". No-one who has read this book can doubt the relevance of psychodynamics.
Patricia Coughlin Della Selva, Ph.D., maintains a private practice in Albany, New York. In addition to treating patients, she teaches at Albany Medical School, writes professionally, and conducts training workshops for mental health professionals around the world.
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