This volume presents 12 highly instructive case studies grounded in the evidence-based psychodynamic therapy model developed by Richard F. Summers and Jacques P. Barber. Bringing clinical concepts vividly to life, each case describes the patient's history and presenting problems and takes the reader through psychodynamic formulation, treatment planning, and the entire course of therapy, including the challenges of termination. The cases address a variety of core psychodynamic problems, with outcomes ranging from very successful to equivocal. The emotional experience of the therapist is explored throughout. Commentary from Summers and Barber on every case highlights important points and key clinical dilemmas.
See also the authored book Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice, in which Summers and Barber comprehensively describe their therapeutic model.
"Practicing Psychodynamic Therapy is an excellent complement to Summers and Barber's earlier evidence-based guide, Psychodynamic Therapy. The psychodynamically formulated case studies are fascinating, and beautifully demonstrate the struggles and learning curve of novice therapists, describing in a refreshingly honest way their successful—and less-than-successful—interventions with patients who suffer from obsessionality, depression, trauma, and more. The down-to-earth and clear exposition of both theory and clinical cases makes this an exceptionally valuable book for beginning therapists, as well as undergraduate and graduate students being exposed to psychodynamic concepts and practice for the first time. This volume convincingly dispels any myths about the relevance of psychodynamic therapy for the practice of psychotherapy today."—Stanley B. Messer, PhD, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
"Referencing the emerging body of research on the efficaciousness of psychodynamic theory, this volume is organized around 12 cases presented by early-career psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. The diverse cases bring to light the unique relationship between psychotherapist and client and offer an in-depth look at individual approaches taken within a psychodynamic framework. Each of six core psychodynamic problems identified by Summers and Barber is covered in the cases. With its evidence-based focus, carefully selected cases, and emphasis on creating a change-oriented therapeutic alliance, this casebook will be an invaluable resource for mental health professionals for years to come."—Aaron T. Beck, MD, University Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Medical School
"This compelling, clearly written book addresses important questions for clinicians starting out in the world of mental health: What is psychodynamic psychotherapy? Why should a well-informed clinician learn it? How does it work? Jargon-free clinical cases—written by clinicians from varied training backgrounds who utilize a wide range of psychodynamic techniques—depict treatment with patients who suffer from panic disorder, major depression, combinations of depression and anxiety, and personality disorders. A 'must read' for clinicians of all orientations, this book will help to solidify psychodynamic therapy and techniques in the contemporary psychotherapeutic landscape."—Barbara Milrod, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
"This accessible clinical casebook illustrates how patients and therapists can work together to address and resolve the most common core problems encountered in therapeutic practice. Twelve refreshingly candid treatment narratives demonstrate specific techniques for working through these problems at different stages of therapy, offering useful strategies for catalyzing and assessing change. Both novice and experienced clinicians will find much of use in this book."—Diana Diamond, PhD, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, City University of New York, and Senior Fellow, Personality Disorders Institute, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
"Summers and Barber have gathered a series of eloquent and detailed cases that illustrate and enrich the approach elaborated in their earlier book, Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice. In this casebook, contributing authors openly share their clinical experience in a personal and candid fashion, offering a window into the very private relationships that develop between therapists and their patients. Indispensable for students of psychotherapy and their teachers, the book provides a rich opportunity for clinical learning and reflection."—Eve Caligor, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
"Therapists searching for psychodynamic concepts and techniques that will help them better conceptualize their patients' problems will benefit greatly from this book. The book begins with a summary of the authors' framework and then follows with 12 extensive case studies in which their model is carefully applied, assisting clinicians in identifying and working with each patient's core psychodynamic patterns. This is an outstanding, essential book for all dynamically oriented clinicians."—Walter N. Stone, MD, Department of Psychiatry (Emeritus), University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
Introduction, Richard F. Summers and Jacques P. Barber
1. Pragmatic Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: The Therapeutic Alliance and the Core Psychodynamic Problem, Richard F. Summers and Jacques P. Barber
2. Pragmatic Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Formulation, Therapeutic Change, and Termination, Richard F. Summers and Jacques P. Barber
3. Permission to Take a Breath: A Case of Depression, Holly Valerio
4. The Lonely Freshman: A Case of Depression, Bianca Previdi
5. Drifting Away: A Case of Depression and Obsessionality, Kevin McCarthy
6. “She’s Just Trying to Help”: A Case of Obsessionality, Lauren Elliott
7. Serial Killers, Movie Stars, and Eruptions: A Case of Obsessionality, Brian Sharpless
8. Skating in Circles: A Case of Fear of Abandonment, Dana A. Satir, Patricia Harney, and Kimberlyn Leary
9. “I Can’t Leave Him, I Think He Loves Me”: A Case of Fear of Abandonment, Robert Schweitzer and Alix Vann
10. The Uncertain Father: A Case of Low Self-Esteem, Samuel J. Collier
11. The Real Elmer Fudd: A Case of Low Self-Esteem, C. Pace Duckett
12. Horrified and Guilty: A Case of Panic Anxiety, Dhwani Shah
13. Our Therapeutic Journey: A Case of Trauma, Karla Campanella
14. Slaying the Dragon: A Case of Trauma, Margot Montgomery O’Donnell
About the Editors:
Richard F. Summers, MD, ABPN, is Clinical Professor and Co-Director of Residency Training in the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He has written extensively on psychodynamic therapy, the therapeutic alliance, psychodynamic formulation, psychiatric education, and positive psychology. With Jacques P. Barber, Dr. Summers is coauthor of Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice and coeditor of Practicing Psychodynamic Therapy: A Casebook. Dr. Summers is the recipient of numerous national and local teaching awards, serves as Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning, and is a member of the Psychiatry Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Past president of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training, he maintains an active clinical practice.
Jacques P. Barber, PhD, ABPP, is Professor and Dean of the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University. He is also Emeritus Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and in the Psychology Graduate Group at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was formerly Associate Director of the Center for Psychotherapy Research, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the outcome and process of psychodynamic and cognitive therapies for depression, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, and personality disorders. He has published more than 225 papers, chapters, and books in the field of psychotherapy and personality. With Richard F. Summers, Dr. Barber is coauthor of Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice and coeditor of Practicing Psychodynamic Therapy: A Casebook. Dr. Barber is past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research and a recipient of its Distinguished Research Career Award.