Use of the Telephone in Psychotherapy

Use of the Telephone in Psychotherapy

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Although use of the telephone has quietly slipped into the routine of psychotherapy, this practice has gained little recognition as an important treatment tool. Once confined to crisis situations, telephone contact now serves a multitude of therapeutic functions. Its use can promote object constancy, provide a transitional space, build a working alliance with the parents of child patients, and maintain ongoing treatment when distance or other factors prevent in-person sessions. In this book, Dr. Joyce K. Aronson examines the practical, theoretical, and technical implications of the increasing use of the telephone, and identifies the rich and complex issues that emerge from such scrutiny. Creative, timely, instructive, and brimming with clinical descriptions, this eye-opening exploration of therapist-patient contact via the telephone deals with issues, answers questions, and opens new possibilities about this dimension of today's practice.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 468 pages
  • 161.8 x 234.2 x 43.7mm | 933.99g
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0765702681
  • 9780765702685
  • 1,290,319

Review quote

Psychotherapy is, above all, about communicating with our patients. Dr. Joyce Aronson provides us with a breakthrough contribution on a frequently used pervasive instrument in our work: the telephone. There are few, if any, guidelines on the many issues involved when we use the telephone with our patients. This volume broaches many of the practical, subtle, and often complex dimensions of routine contacts, doing psychotherapy, dealing with special populations, crisis intervention, and legal issues, when we employ the telephone for therapeutic contact. I believe I speak for most clinicians in saying that some of our most perplexing and difficult times with patients occur on the phone. This book will be of tremendous help to practitioners in an area that has up to now been uncharted. -- Edward J. Khantzian, M.D., Harvard Medical School Here it is! The admission that psychotherapy is done on the telephone. The decision to meet a patient's need for telephone contact is no longer considered a sin of gratification. Rather, this book demonstrates the usefulness of telephone contact in many circumstances, including geographical moves, hospitalization, business travel, crises of aloneness, suicidality, fear of intimacy, and addiction. Abundant clinical examples and a self-preservative chapter on legal and ethical issues further enrich this timely book. Telepsychotherapy is tailor-made for our highly mobile society in the global economy of the twenty-first century. -- co-director, International Institute of Object Relations Therapy, Jill Scharff, M.D., co-director, International Institute of Object Relations Therapy Freud's bypass of face-face contact with his patients via the use of the couch has found a new and uncanny counterpart in the contemporary patient's communicating via telephones, answering machines, fax, e-mail, and so on. Previously restricted to an occasional refueling device, the use of the telephone has blossomed into a clinical diversity of astonishing range, including crisis intervention, long-term psychotherapy, long-distance psychotherapy, and even psychoanalysis. This remarkable book by Joyce Aronson helps us think in new ways, heightens our empathy with our patients' need for distance contact, and adds to our clinical armamentarium. A superb addition to the literature indeed! -- Salman Akhtar, MD, is professor of psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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About Joyce Kraus Aronson

Joyce K. Aronson, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia in New York City. She received her doctorate in clinical social work from Smith College, where she has been an adjunct faculty member. The editor of The Dynamic Psychotherapy of Anorexia and Bulimia, Dr. Aronson is a graduate of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and the Freudian Society. She is a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association and is in private practice in New York City.
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