Books by Karnac 2008

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Lives Transformed, A Revolutionary Method of Dynamic Psychotherapy

Edition: Revised Edition 2007 Paperback

Authors: David Malan, Della Selva & patrica Coughlin

ISBN: 9781855755116

Publishers: Karnac Books

Price: £19.99

Publication Date: 2007

Publisher’s Title Information

Revised paperback edition. This book 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 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 psychotherpeutic intervention. No-one who has read this book can doubt the relevance of psychodynamics.


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.

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 Patients continue to improve long after termination, as each symptom and defence has been replaced by something healthy and life-giving. With all but one patient no trace of any of the original disturbances could be detected at follow-up, which is one of the definitions of 'total resolution'.

No-one who has read this book can doubt the relevance of psychodynamics. 'This is a book of exceptional depth and practicality on how to work with emotion. It is both clear and full of the richest description of seven cases that one could hope to find. One learns how a therapist actually does therapy, and therefore how to do therapy. I could pay a book no higher compliment. By reading it one learns how to work with affect and somatic experience. One sees in rich and concrete detail how a therapist confronts defences, first against affect and emotional closeness, and then against unacknowledged anger and grief, which lie at the heart of much human experience and distress. The therapist promotes a full, direct experience of these previously avoided feelings. The observed therapeutic effects provide evidence that the direct experience of emotion is the key to healing in psychotherapy.'

Leslie Greenberg Professor, Dept. of Psychology York University Toronto