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Unusual Interventions


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About the Author

Salman Akhtar, MD, was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. His more than 300 publications include nine books: Broken Structures; Quest for Answers; Inner Torment; Immigration and Identity; New Clinical Realms; Objects of Our Desire; Regarding Others; Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy; and The Damaged Core, as well as twenty-six edited or co-edited volumes in psychiatry and psychoanalysis and six collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.


This book is a godsend to those of us who view psychotherapy not as an orthodox technique but an art of the open mind and learned heart. Notions of 'standard practice' are useful to therapists, especially early in our careers, but even more valuable are opportunities to learn how seasoned practitioners think, how they may translate their understanding of a person's suffering into creative exceptions to good general rules. In the heyday of psychoanalysis, a 'classical' technique was idealized, sometimes whether or not the patient was helped. A current parallel to this elevation of means over ends is the pressure on clinicians of all orientations to manualize our work - as if one size should fit all regardless of a patient's unique personality or context. In this welcome volume, nine seasoned therapists describe clinical challenges that called for an exceptional response. Beginning practitioners will find inspiration in their honest, creative, and humane accounts. Experienced therapists, who will recognize the struggle that goes into the occasional throwing out of the rulebook, will find 'Unusual Interventions' compelling and confirming. Nancy McWilliams, PhD, Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology

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