Craft and Spirit
A Guide to the Exploratory Psychotherapies
Routledge – 2005 – 196 pages
In Craft and Spirit, Joseph Lichtenberg writes of the craft of exploratory psychotherapy, by which he means the creative skill — even artistry — that mobilizes the spirit of inquiry in therapist and patient and sustains it over the course of psychotherapy. He expatiates on this craft as it pertains to patients of our time — patients who typically bring to therapy backgrounds of insecure attachment and serious concerns about safety and retraumatization. In each of ten chapters, Lichtenberg formulates a different guideline for technique, keyed to the broad domain of exploratory psychotherapies and are accompanied by numerous clinical illustrations. These guidelines seek to foster greater therapist involvement without compromising an openness to psychological exploration. They seek to sensitize therapists to the two interlacing tracks of communication that unfold in treatment: those of verbal exchange and of enactive messages. And they help guide therapist attention among interpenetrating domains of the patient’s subjectivity, the therapist’s subjectivity, and the intersubjective realm that emerges from their collaborative experience.
Fusing the humanist tradition of therapeutic inquiry with knowledge gained from recent infancy and child research, Lichtenberg develops guidelines suitable to exploratory therapy with patients who communicate not only verbally but also through diverse affect states and altered cognitions. Consistently illuminating on the parallels and disjunctions between caregiver–child and therapist–patient relationships, Lichtenberg is clear about the adult-to-adult dimension of exploratory work in which “provision” is necessarily subordinate to “inquiry.” Craft and Spirit is aimed equally at prospective patients, therapists, and analysts, all of whom will be edified by this masterful demonstration of the ways in which a spirit of inquiry imbues the craft of psychotherapy, in Lichtenberg’s words, “with its liveliness of sustained purpose.”
“Joseph Lichtenberg, a master clinician, has distilled a lifetime of experience into this clearly written and thoughtfully presented book. Lichtenberg explains the craft and captures the spirit of inquiry that constitutes contemporary psychoanalytic therapy. With numerous illustrations of actual clinical exchange, this human, flexible, and compassionate portrayal of psychotherapy serves as an excellent introductory text.”
- Lewis Aron, Ph.D., Director, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
“Joseph Lichtenberg has done it again. He has written a book that is so filled with information about our ever-more complex field and how to find our way about in it, that I, who have read everything he has ever written, was surprised and delighted to discover what a treasure it is. Once again the information is fresh and intelligently presented, and once again the clinical examples are lucid and compelling. Dr. Lichtenberg presents his material so clearly and covers so much ground that the book’s audience will include both experienced and recently trained practitioners and interested laypersons as well. I can only congratulate him on this exemplary achievement.”
- Estelle Shane, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Institute of Contemporary Analysis, Los Angeles
"Lichtenberg's text delivers exactly what its title promises: a guide to the exploratory therapies. He gives a tremendous overview of all the factors that are involved with providing psychotherapy from a depth perspective. Included in this guide are an abundance of clinical case examples that illustrate Lichtenberg's points, which help the reader understand how to implement his suggestions when in the room with a client….text is helpful for newcomers to the field, midlevel professionals desiring a review of what they learned in graduate school, and seasoned psychotherapists looking for a readable account of the latest research in the field. Highly recommended…"
1. A Facilitating Environment
2. Sensing into the Mind-States of Another
3. Affects and the Pathway to Motivation
4. "The Message Contains the Message": Opening Communication to Its Fullest Revelation
5. Filling the Narrative Envelope
6. "The Wearing of Attributions": A Guideline for Therapists to Discover Who They Have Come to Be for Their Patients
7. Model Scenes: A Guide to Bringing the Theater of the Mind onto the Patient-Therapist Stage
8. How to Respond to a Message that Indicates There Is Something a Patient Doesn't Want Himself, His Therapist, or Both to Know
9. The Therapist Speaks
10. Evaluating Progress
Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D., is Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanaytic Inquiry, Director Emeritus of the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and past President of the International Council for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. He has authored and edited numerous books and articles, including Craft and Spirit: A Guide to the Exploratory Psychotherapies (Analytic Press, 2005) and, with Frank Lachmann and James Fosshage, A Sprit of Inquiry: Communication in Psychoanalysis (Analytic Press, 2002).