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Learning from the Patient
Patrick Casement
Guilford Press / Softcover / Oct 1992
9780898621570 (ISBN-10: 0898621577)
reg price: $68.50 our price: $ 65.08
386 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

In one volume, this book presents Patrick Casement's two classic works, On Learning from the Patient and Further Learning from the Patient. The patient's unconscious contribution to analytic work is fully explored. Casement writes with unusual openness about what really happens in the consulting room, including mistakes—his own as well as others'. Everything in psychoanalytic theory and technique is up for questioning and for careful testing in the clinical setting. Casement provides fresh insights on familiar concepts as well as developing a number that are new; every concept is explained and illustrated with clinical examples.

Original Description:

In Learning from the Patient, the author offers an unusual openness about what really happens in the consulting room, including mistakes--his own as well as others'. The patient's unconscious contribution to analytic work is fully illustrated. As a result of this approach, insight is arrived at with a rare freshness as theory is rediscovered in the consulting room.

In the course of this volume, Casement develops some familiar concepts and evolves a number that are new, such as: internal supervision, a process in which the analyst/therapist explores the implications of various options during each session with the patient; trial identification with the patient, which encourages analysts and therapists to look at themselves as a patient might see them; and communication by impact, a graphic way of considering the various dimensions of projective identification. Others include the dynamics of containment, the communication of hurt, the pain of contrast, and unconscious hope.

In Part I, Casement lays the foundation by establishing the first principles of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy, as well as those for the process of learning from the patient. In Part II, he more fully explores what emerges from this way of working. He discusses the importance of the analytic space and the need to keep it and the analytic process free from interference of any kind, including that of working style or theoretical bias. He makes a strong case for viewing the analytic process as an expression of the unconscious search for what previously was delayed and is now needed for healthy growth and recovery.


“...if I was asked to recommend one book on technique for the beginning therapist, I would recommend Learning from the Patient.”

—Psychoanalytic Psychology

“The book contains a wealth of insights and ingenious ways of handling complex problems in a therapeutic relationship. It is thoroughly recommended for anyone working in psychotherapy.”

—International Journal of Social Psychiatry

“Intended for the therapist in training but...will be welcomed by the most experienced practitioner as well....The emphasis on what actually goes on in treatment and the author's openness to scrutiny are the strengths of this entertaining and informative work.”

—Psychoanalytic Books

“Casement's book is masterly in his entirely convincing account of the complexity of unconscious communications that occur between patient and therapist....If I was asked to recommend one book on technique for the beginning therapist, I would recommend Learning from the Patient....It is the best book available.”

—Arnold H. Modell in Psychoanalytic Psychology

“This is a remarkable and unusual addition to psychoanalytic literature, and a book form which any analyst, however experienced, is sure to learn something new and valuable. The future of psychoanalysis lies along the path that Casement is pointing out in this sensitive, excellent book.”

—Anthony Storr, F.R.C.P., F.R.C.Psych., F.R.S.L.

“This is a landmark book, one of the outstanding contributions to the psychoanalytic literature in recent years. With his remarkable sensitivity to the subtle manifestations of the interactions taking place in the analytic hour and his awareness of the impact of patient and analyst on each other, Patrick Casement has demonstrated how a gifted analyst can make use of the her-and-now transactions to explore the rich tapestry of thoughts, fantasies, and memories that lie behind them. This book can serve as a teaching text for all therapists who are interested in learning from a master clinician....”

—Theodore J. Jacobs, M.D.

“Casement believes that the power of the therapist lies in learning how to help a patient experience himself through the therapeutic prism and he describes this by his own clinical work with a direct openness, a disciplined compassion, and a refreshing modesty that is intrinsically elegant....A valuable psychoanalytic offering.”

—Rosalyn Benitez-Bloch, D.S.W.

“Few analysts convey better than Casement the actual feeling of work in the consulting room. His non-dogmatic but rigorous attention to the total communication of the patient represents what is best and most convincing about modern psychoanalysis. His book will be of particular value to trainees in the psychodynamic professions, but will also be refreshing to more experienced practitioners.”

—David Black, Lecturer, Westminster Pastoral Foundation, London, British Journal of Psychiatry

About the Author:

Patrick Casement is a training analyst of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. Having graduated in theology and anthropology at Cambridge, he worked for ten years as a social worker and qualified with the British Association of Psychotherapists before training to become a psychoanalyst. He is currently in full-time private practice. His first book, which comprises Part I of this volume, is well known throughout Europe and has achieved the status of a modern classic.

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