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on October 15, 2005
As a graduate student in a predominately psychodynamic program, I have been assigned a myriad of psychodynamic/analytic literature, and this book, by far, is the most incisive, jargon free, and useful tool I have found for understanding dynamic theory-all its important nuances- and perhaps, even more importantly, for applying it to patients. Gabbard also elucidates many ancillary topics, such as fee setting and phone calls, which the reader quickly learns are not so ancillary, but an integral part of the therapeutic technique and process. It is also highly refreshing and empowering to know that this masterful and erudite work on PSYCHOTHERAPY, and its implied necessity, was done by a biologically trained PSYCHIATRIST. Wow, sheer joy!
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on February 2, 2007
This is a an expensive, but really great book on long-term psychodynamic therapy which is often used to treat borderline personality disorders and other conditions that are more serious than the everyday problems of the average person.

It is actually a short book only being 210 pages. However, it covers a lot of ground and does it in a way that is easy to read. It introduces key concepts right at the beginning then it goes into assessment, indications and formulation. The next two chapters cover the nuts and bolts of psychotherapy and the role of the therapist. As a whole, the text does a great job of covering the end-to-end therapeutic process.

There are a lot of books on this topic, but this one is very clear, well-organized and covers the most important topics in just enough detail. There is not much fluff in this book and the clinical examples are useful and not overdone.
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on May 27, 2008
This is a great book for both graduate students and seasoned clinicians wishing to incorporate psychodynamic principles into their work. While many books about psychodynamic/psychoanalytic psychotherapy require a sound grasp of jargon, Dr. Gabbard has done a great job presenting the material in a very palatable fashion. I would agree with one reviewer who stated that the reference section alone is the worth the price of the book. As someone who did not receive indepth training in psychodynamic/psychoanalytic therapy (I had been trained in CBT and systemic therapies), I found this to be a good launching point for further reading into psychodynamically oriented therapies(e.g. Mitchell & Greenberg; Fromm, Sullivan, etc.). If you are someone who has already received graduate level training in basic counseling/therapy skills, you might find yourself skipping over bits and pieces of the book. However, with that said, I would suggest this book to any counselor/therapist looking to incorporate psychodynamic thought into their work!
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on March 11, 2009
Add me to the list of people who really like this book.

For years, I've consulted Gabbard's book on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (see my Amazon review from a few years ago) for ideas, even though I'm not primarily a psychodynamic therapist. It relates psychodynamic ideas to the DSM-IV in a valuable way, suggesting clinical formulations and potential treatment strategies.

The current book is a readable yet information-rich intro to psychodynamic therapies. This is a great intro and if I was teaching a course on psychodynamic therapy, I'd probably use this book. But it is also a great way for therapists (like me -- not trained in psychoanalysis, but sympathetic to the approach) to enhance their understanding and appreciation of this venerable approach.
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on February 10, 2014
The author did a good job writing about a topic that few would read past the first page.
The first topic? MISCONCEPTIONS.

They explain that it isn’t about the stone faced therapist, sitting mostly in silence and only speaking to say “mmm-hmm” or to ask about the patient’s sexuality.
It’s about the relationship between the therapist and the patient. They’re both real people – both have backgrounds and upbringings and biases and conversation styles and patterns and soft spots and rough edges etc…

The author explained Klein, Freud, Kohut, Bolwby, Stern and others. But none of them are God; none should be followed precisely. They are people who had theories, and their theories taught us something.
This book helped me the most by teaching me what NOT to do. Don’t over analyze, don’t interpret too quickly. If the patient says I remind them of their father, just leave it alone. If they mention a past experience, just listen. Once they mention the same subject 3 or 4 times, once a pattern is readily apparent - then bring it up. Don't assume to know what it means - just bring it up. Sure I'll have idea and theories, but not push them on the patient or they'll pull back.

If they mention a dream - don't try to interpret it. If they give an interpretation - fine. If it reminds me of a recurring thing they've brought up many times - ask if there might be a connection.

I learned to slow down and avoid jumping to conclusions.

This book teaches how to do psychotherapy, how to deal with resistance, when to interpret and when to just listen. It taught the good and the bad of transference and countertransference - when to bring it up and when to just acknowledge it and move on.

It explained the goals, the purpose, the meaning behind it all. It gave me another useful tool to use with patients. I think that's the point, if you learn lots of medications, lots of therapies, and lots of ways to help - you'll have a better chance of picking the right one. "If all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail."

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"When in doubt, be human." - p. 57

"The young therapist - fearing spontaneity, human engagement, and a naturalness of response - is overly rigid and formal." - p. 71

"Therapists are privately passing judgments on the patient all the time." - p. 72

"We might regard resistance as a way that patients show us who they are...resistance is not 'bad' behavior on the part of the patient." - p. 117

"Patients are boring for different reasons...the art of therapy includes making the boring patient a fascinating subject of study." - p. 161
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on February 14, 2012
As you have heard, this is an excellent book (as a basic text)and breaks down the key principles of psychotherapy in a very lucid and approachable manner. I've really enjoyed all of the chapters and have had a hard time putting the book down. Furthermore, the bibliography is very helpful for further reading.

Now to the point: the dvd which has 3 vignettes that are actually excellent and worth the money in themselves (and are performed by professional actresses/actor)still leaves me wishing there were many more(as you find in!

But worse still the dvd slip in the back is terrible. My dvd keeps sliding out of the slip as once the slip has been initially opened, the top is from then on, always open. True, I could put the dvd in a case but then its just one more thing to keep track of. At any rate, my disk is all scraped up and I've only gotten to watch the vignettes twice and furthermore, my other dvds are all in excellent shape so it's not a matter of negligence.This could be easily fixed in a new edition or can be modified by including a free dvd case and a rubberband to hold it to the book.

Nevertheless, such a manufacturing error shouldn't dissuade someone interested in LTPP to not get this book, which is why I only docked the darn thing 1 star. Indeed, I am going through my second time reading this book as I greatly appreciate it.

So ultimately, I hope to see these 2 issues addressed if/when there is a 3rd edition. At any rate, if there's one thing I don't regret it was getting this book. If you're entering into the study of LTPP, I highly recommend it!
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on October 10, 2004
I am student in a masters of social work program and needed to find a resource for an educational presentation explaining what psychodynamic therapy is and what it isn't. This book did an excellent job of explaining contemporary psychodynamic theory and how it is applied. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to develop a clearer understanding of what psychodynamic theory is.
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on July 12, 2012
Glen Gabbard is a wonderful teacher, psychoanalyst and writer. He knows the subject so well that he can make a very complex and subtle science and art easy to understand. The DVD demonstrating psychodynamic treatment is perfect!
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on April 14, 2013
This is a must-read for anyone learning about psychodynamic therapy and seasoned clinicians. It covers many topics and issues. I've used it several times when writing case conceptualizations in grad school and will be referring to it frequently once I start internship.
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on August 26, 2009
Well-written, easy to read but comprehensive description of basic issues, research behind,and technique of doing psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy. It brings together current thinking about such techniques, or rather, the ways of approaching and understanding the complex interaction between two subjects working together. Good, useful clinical examples. Good introduction to analytic concepts about psychotherapy.
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