How therapists can position themselves with respect to the varieties of relational experiences which constrict the patient. (200 pp.)
Dr. Lawrence Hedges has done it again – another outstanding masterpiece! Relational Interventions is a veritable tour de force. Although its focus is on the relational constrictedness that can arise from unmastered early-on organizing and symbiotic experience and on how therapists can then position themselves with respect to the varieties of relational experience to which that constrictedness gives rise, this beautifully crafted, stunningly accessible gem of a volume does so much more! It also serves as a dazzlingly concise overview of Hedges’ four well-known developmental listening perspectives (organizing, symbiotic, selfobject, and self-other) and the relational limitations, fears, habits, templates, scripts, enactments, and rules of engagement that each perspective is designed to address. Most remarkable is Hedges’ ever-respectful attentiveness to the uniqueness and individuality of the client and to the moment-by-moment contributions of both client and therapist to all that emerges in the sacred and intimate space between them – amply demonstrated in the numbers of case vignettes that this master clinician so generously and vulnerably offers the reader. Hedges, at once dazzlingly brilliant, breathtakingly astute, deeply humble, and able to go where many fear to tread, has created a trailblazing classic that you not only need to have in your library but you must also revisit again and again – each time listening (from a different perspective) to the timeless words of wisdom contained within this extraordinary book…
Martha Stark, MD
Faculty, Harvard Medical School
Author, Working with Resistance; A Primer on Working with Resistance; and Modes of Therapeutic Action
A Comprehensive Explanation of Working with Therapeutic Relationships
As a clinician, I am oriented by the classical and developmental object relations perspectives. Dr. Hedges' book reminds the reader that it is only in the context of connected therapeutic relationship that any theory-driven technique or interpretations have any therapeutic action. Is is through this relationship that the psychotherapist and the patient learn and gain progressive insight into the patient's history and present-life struggles. Whether or not one agrees with Dr. Hedges' technique, I believe that any seasoned and effective clinician realizes and becomes immersed in connection and breaks in connection in treatment. This book offers a comprehensive, applicable, and contemporary explication of working with therapeutic relationships. I highly recommend this book for clinicians at all levels of experience.
Barry Ross, Ph.D.
A Work of Therapeutic Genius
It is now generally accepted that the relationship is the most important factor in the outcome of psychotherapy. But, as Hedges illustrates, this involves much more than a good therapeutic alliance. It involves how that relationship is used in reenactments of historically determined interactional patterns that are imbued with psychopathology. Using a psychodynamic developmental psychology, Hedges tells us how we can listen for the basic existential issues presented and the basic adjustment strategies that we all use to cope with them. Then with numerous case studies from the literature, from his colleagues, and from his own practice, he illustrates how troubled interaction patterns can be transformed through the use of the therapeutic relationship. The trick is twofold: 1) knowing how to listen and intervene at the developmental level of the client and 2) having the willingness to involve oneself in the mutual intensity of the interaction. That is what Hedges teaches here. This is a work of therapeutic genius. Donʼt miss it.
Stephen M. Johnson, Ph.D.
Author of Character Styles