Book Review of “Psychoanalytic Technique: Contributions from Ego Psychology” (Técnica Psicoanalítica: Aportaciones de la Psicología del Yo) By Cecilio Paniagua. Madrid: Editorial Tébar Flores, 2014. 426 pp.

by Rodrigo Barahona, PsyaD

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

As many readers know, Cecilio Paniagua has been an important contributor to the resurgence of literature on ego psychologyand its focus on the technical modifications advanced by the emergence of Freud’s structural model. Along with Fred Busch, Paniagua has been on the forefront of amplifying the work of Paul Gray (1982), to a “developmental lag” in psychoanalytic technique between Freud’s first and second models of the mind. In his latest work, Paniagua hopes to reach a larger audience of clinicians who, for reasons he describes, have held on to an outdated theory of technique that was scrubbed in principle, though never in action, by Freud (1923)., Paniagua invites the reader to consider the advantages and rationality of adopting a techniquethat is consistent with Freud’s revised theory of the mind and that, for the author, is best suited for helping the patient make the most use of the psychoanalytic method.

This excellent book contains too much of value to adequately summarize in one review. But I will try. Paniagua’s powers of persuasion are complemented by the abundant and rich clinical material he presents. The process notes are specific to the questions he raises and are brutally honest in their inclusion of missteps along with successes. All examples are immediately illustrative of the technical issue at hand and, although he does not always indicate the time frame, appear to span the range from more recent work to cases seen as far back as his candidacy. Thus, we get a sense of Paniagua’s style at different moments in his career through session excerpts that read like unpolished records of complex analytic interactions <…>

Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 87(2): 369-379, 2018.

Link to Online Publication [fulltext can be requested from the library]

About the Author:

Rodrigo Barahona, PsyaD, is a faculty member at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and a member of the the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association. He is a board member of the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies, and serves on the editorial boards of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly and the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. He has a private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. Dr. Barahona regularly reviews Latin American and Spanish psychoanalytic literature. Click here to check out his other recently published reviews.

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