Antje Gumz, Susanne Hörz-Sagstetter 2

Antje Gumz, Susanne Hörz-Sagstetter

Antje Gumz, Susanne Hörz-Sagstetter (Eds.): Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Practice. Beltz Verlag (Weinheim, Basel) 2018 788 pages. ISBN 978-3-621-28448-6. D: 79.00 EUR, A: 81.30 EUR, CH: 102.00 sFr.
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Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a supplement to "Systemic therapy in practice" and "Behavioral therapy in practice" part of the Beltz Verlag series of books "Psychotherapy in practice". All volumes take into account the latest research and current developments and serve as textbooks as well as reference papers with many case studies and dialogic therapies, frequently asked questions and practical advice.

The editors of this textbook "Psychodynamic Therapy in Practice" were primarily practical relevance, clarity and clinical examples, recent developments in psychodynamic psychotherapy from a scientific perspective, an important concern. They address the training of psychotherapists in training and psychologists and physicians in psychotherapy training, but also talk to experienced psychotherapists and supervisors who are interested in recent advances in research and application, as well as representatives of other therapeutic and science and health and education majors insight into the diversity of psychodynamic procedures.

A specially available instructional DVD contains videos of real-life therapy situations and shows strategies and methods for dealing with difficult and conflict situations.


The two editors are professors of clinical psychology, psychotherapy and psychosomatics at the Berlin Psychological University (PHP), as well as psychoanalysts and psychological psychotherapists working in depth psychology.

Prof. Antje Gumz Among other things, she is a specialist in psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, a systems couple and family therapist, and a senior physician at the UKE in Hamburg.

Prof. Susanne Hörz-Sagstetter is a Certified Psychotherapist of Deep Psychology and Analytical Psychotherapy, a Psychoanalyst (DGPT) and a Certified Therapist, Trainer, and Supervisor of Therapy Focused Therapy (TFP).

In addition, 54 other authors from Germany, Austria or Switzerland participated as experts in the relevant contributions to the book. They teach at universities, clinics or training institutes and are all licensed medical or psychological psychotherapists with in-depth psychological and / or psychoanalytic training, with the exception of a lawyer.

Structure and content

The editors want to provide a broad overview of the concepts, procedures, and impact factors of psychodynamic psychotherapy and to explain diagnostic approaches, clinical imaging, and therapeutic procedures as well as the challenges that arise. The book describes the basics as well as the current state of new concepts, techniques and scientific breakthroughs. It is divided into 7 parts. Each section provides an overview, implications and recommendations for practice and at least one case study and frequently asked questions with practical questions and answers. A DVD with four hours of case study of therapeutic procedures in everyday and especially demanding therapeutic situations is also available with the textbook.

Part I: Therapeutic relationship, basic concepts and techniques

The first part begins with the basics of therapeutic attitudes and attitudes, as well as the handling and constructive use of transfers and countertransferences as diagnostic tools. Furthermore, the stage understanding, free connection with equal attention, mentalization, concepts and approaches to the unconscious, the meaning of life story, patterns and structure of conflict, as well as work with patients' emotions, dreams, defense and resistance are illuminated. The success of therapy is central to the therapist's attitude and specificity of their intervention.

Part II: Initiation of therapy, initial interviews and diagnosis

In the second part, special features and practical tips for the first interview and realistic goals of therapy are presented. This is followed by an overview of the diagnostic procedures, and some sections provide approaches, models, categories, and methods for

  • Diagnosis of symptoms: Categorical capture by ICD or DSM
  • Relationship Diagnosis: Circular Model and Diagnostic Diagram of Relationships after OPD
  • Conflict diagnosis: Conflict models
  • Diagnosis of structure: different interview procedures and questionnaires according to categories and dimensional approach that shows the severity of the deficit and differs according to the level of mental function and pathological characteristics
  • and attachment diagnostics: attachment styles through interviews

discussed. Among the methods are questionnaires, interview techniques, projective procedures, use of transfer and countertransference, observation, relationship episodes and non-verbal communication.

Part III: Psychiatric disorders

The following are the most common and important mental disorders in their characteristics, clinical features, disorder models, epidemiologies, and recent research approaches:

  • anxiety disorders
  • labor disorders
  • stress disorder
  • adjustment disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma and dissociative disorders
  • personality disorders
  • Psychosomatic and psychotic disorders
  • Sexuality disorders
  • Somatoform and somato-mental disorders
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Part IV: Psychodynamic disorder-specific therapy

While the third part explains the characteristics and symptoms, the fourth part introduces relevant therapeutic options according to the latest research approaches and practical advice. The authors attach great importance to the empirically proven effectiveness of therapeutic methods, as well as their authentic and patient use and productive use of transfers and countertransferences in situations that occur during therapy.

Drug therapies are discussed more deeply

  • Depression (Acute Therapeutic Approach and Detection of Unconscious Strategies under the Uniform Protocol)
  • Eating disorders (eating behavior, body image, blocked or unnoticed feelings and ideas, possible structural disorders, integration of symptoms and changes in experience and action)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorders (Supportive-Expressive Therapy)
  • Panic Disorders (Panic Focused Psychodynamic Psychotherapy)
  • Personality disorders (transfer-focused psychotherapy, mentalisation-based therapy, structure-related therapy)
  • Somatoform disorders (disorder-oriented therapy according to PISO)
  • Social phobias (supportive expressive therapy)
  • Post-phase trauma disorders and manifestations of the disorder

Part V: Psychodynamic therapy in special patient groups

This chapter demonstrates how psychodynamic procedures can profitably be applied to a very diverse patient population. In addition to the disorder, on the one hand, appropriate patient groups are crucial for the selection and application of therapeutic procedures or interventions, on the other, and the dynamics of the relationship between the therapist and the patient. Target groups are described

  • Children and adolescents
  • Teens with personality disorders
  • elderly patients,
  • Couples and families
  • groups
  • as well as particularities in an intercultural context.

Part VI: Therapy process and special features in the process

The focus of the sixth part is on the various aspects of the therapeutic process: the stages of therapy and the end of the therapeutic process, as well as frequent crises, clues and shortcomings in dealing with them. In addition, the risks and side effects of therapy, ethical aspects, and treatment of suicidal patients are discussed.

Part VII: Different psychodynamic procedures

In the last part, the authors focus on the demarcation of psychoanalytic theory from in-depth psychotherapy orientation, as well as on further developments, in particular modifications of analytical psychotherapy, in-depth psychotherapy and examples of integrative techniques in psychodynamic therapy.


Attached is a complete bibliography, editorial resume, author list, index, and detailed contents of a learning DVD.

With instruction DVD (sold separately)

An additional video learning DVD includes four hours of video from instructed repeat therapy scenarios. Case studies are based on the concepts of authors who also act as therapists. The patients are represented by students and patients in training as well as by three actors. Short film sequences depict central psychodynamic techniques, depicting challenging therapeutic situations and therapeutic approach and attitude. In the case, introductory and closing audio comments on the therapeutic approach, as well as subtitles with explanations or notes for therapists, help to classify diagnoses and interventions. Topics discussed included transfer, countertransference, resilience, psychodynamic diagnostics, initial consultations, side effects information, end of therapy, conflict-oriented work in structure, and brief group therapy sessions, each related to textbook chapters.

A series is played from the initial phase of therapy Antje Gumz as a therapist in three variants demonstrate the psychodynamic diversity of theoretical ideas about approaches. Susanne Hörz-Sagstetter demonstrates a psychodynamic diagnosis based on exemplary interview questions and classification of reactions across different categories and dimensions. Two scenes from therapeutic suicide treatment follow up Antje Gumzin which the therapist's interventions are discussed.


The foundations, methods, and therapeutic procedures of classical psychodynamic practices, with their recent approaches and developments in research, are illustrated by many practical examples, vignettes, and dialogues on therapy, and backed by scientific breakthroughs and empirical efficacy studies. This is a well-grounded review with a focused list of further reading at the end of each chapter. In addition, of course, all sources are listed in the bibliography, so further deepening is possible.

The authors also present cutting edge concepts and developments in psychodynamic psychotherapy, such as mentalisation-based therapy (MBT), transfer-focused psychotherapy, psychoanalytic interaction (PIM), trauma treatment, or alliance-focused training.

Lastly, the authors also prove open to integrative approaches, provided they can meaningfully complete therapy in accordance with a psychodynamic mentality.

The textbook can fulfill its requirements and address different target groups:

  • Experienced psychotherapists who want to know the news
  • Representatives of other procedures seeking insight into the diversity of psychodynamic procedures
  • Students seeking a clear and descriptive overview of the work of psychodynamic psychotherapy with practical examples.

The role-playing games on the instruction DVD show different perspectives on psychodynamic work and call for the observation of professionals at work and thus impressively experience the therapist-patient relationship and may be inspired by different individual actions. The collection of video scenes is quite unique as there are almost no such examples in the field of psychodynamic therapy. In this respect, the DVD, although associated with the extra cost, is a very valuable addition and a deepening of the textbook, which also animated it to re-read the second chapter with other eyes.


The textbook "Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Practice" explains in a healthy and practical way the basics, state of the art of modern concepts and techniques, as well as the current empirical and scientific findings of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Many case studies and dialogues with therapy illustrate therapeutic applications and are complemented by practical advice. The specially-available four-hour instruction DVD enriches a 18-video textbook depicting challenging and everyday therapeutic situations, as well as individual therapist behavior and interventions, more vividly and vividly than would be possible in the transcribed format.

Dipl.-Kfm. Tatiana van de Kamp

Dipl. Kauffr .; MA (Psychology of Work and Organization)
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Tatiana van de Kamp. Review from 10/10/2019 to: Antje Gumz, Susanne Hörz-Sagstetter (Eds.): Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Practice. Beltz Verlag (Weinheim, Basel) 2018. ISBN 978-3-621-28448-6. In: Social Reviews, ISSN 2190-9245,, accessed 11/10/2019.


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