Practical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and Patients

Practical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and Patients

by Owen Renik

Renik argues that psychoanalysis must move beyond theory and focus instead on effectiveness.
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By now, the term practical psychoanalysis has become an oxymoron. The way psychoanalytic treatment is generally conducted, it is extremely impractical: it doesn't serve the needs of the vast majority of potential patients. Understandably, people who seek the help of mental health caregivers want a therapy that will provide maximum relief from emotional distress as quickly as possible. Most clinical psychoanalysts offer instead a lengthy journey of self-discovery during which too much concern with symptom relief is considered counterproductive. "Self-awareness" is the main goal; symptom relief is of secondary importance and is expected to arrive, if at all, only after a while.
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Owen RenikOwen Renik, MD, is currently a Training and Supervising Analyst at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Society. He was Editor in Chief of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly for ten years, Program Chair of the American Psychoanalytic Association for two terms, and served as Director of Training and Associate Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Zion Hospital, San Francisco. He maintains a private practice in San Francisco. In his book, Practical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and Patients, Renik makes use of clinical anecdotes to describe how to begin treatment, how to end it, and how to deal with the in-betweens in an engaging, practical, and down-to-earth style that will be valuable to therapists of any orientation.
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CE credits: 3
Learning objectives:

  • Consider Renik's challenges to the neutral, anonymous role in the practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
  • Explore differences and similarities between tradition psychoanalysis and what Renik calls practical psychoanalysis
  • Increase awareness the key role of symptom relief in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
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