Phenomenology, Uncertainty, and Care in the Therapeutic Encounter

By Mark Leffert (USA)

leffertcover1115w2Phenomenology, Uncertainty, and Care in the Therapeutic Encounter (Routledge, 2016) is a radical book. It is the latest volume in what has grown into an ongoing, interdisciplinary exploration of the meaning of two radical critiques of the clinical encounter. The first is that repeated studies have demonstrated that the success or failure of individual therapies is entirely independent of the theoretical orientation of the therapist. The second is that psychoanalysis is based on two theories rather than one. There is a phenomenologically based effective clinical theory grounded in direct observation but also a series of psychoanalytic metatheories lacking supporting evidence or proof. I describe instead what is going on in the therapeutic situation that leads to care, change, and cure, as opposed to what is irrelevant or damaging.



leffertphoto1115wMark Leffert, MD, has been on the faculty of five psychoanalytic institutes and has been a Training and Supervising Analyst at four of them. He has taught and supervised psychoanalysts, psychologists, and psychiatrists for 40 years. He is the author of many papers and two previous books, Contemporary Psychoanalytic Foundations and The Therapeutic Situation in the 21st Century. He has been engaged in an interdisciplinary reformulation of clinical psychoanalysis, drawing on postmodernism, neuroscience, network studies, and (among others), heuristics and biases. Present and future work focus on phenomenology, care, healing, and the self. He is in private practice in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Leffert, MD
2233 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3505
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