Book Review: Dynamic Psychotherapy Explained

The featured book is ‘Dynamic Psychotehrapy Explained. Second Edition’ by Patricia Hughes and Daniel Riordan. This is an introductory guide to dynamic psychotherapy which is aimed particularly at postgraduate trainees in mental health and as stated in the book is suitable for use in prepration for the MRCPsych site exams. The book begins with an overview of some of the most basic and essential concepts needed for the further discussion. The authors then focus on the meaning model. I particularly liked this quote about the meaning model:

‘It emphasises the importance of the psychological organisation deriving from the person’s experience and internal mental model of the world and assumes that mental states have personal meaning’

The authors cover the psychodynamic formulation in some depth looking at predisposing, precipitating and maintaining factors and giving worked case examples. They go on to explain and summarise concepts by important figures in the field including Sigmund Freud, Eric Berne, John Bowlby and Melanie Klein. The authors then cover many important practical aspects of psychotherapy including appropriate candidates, ethical and legal issues, negotiating a contract, maintaining boundaries and ending therapy as well as institutional issues. This is a concise and accessible introduction to the subject.


Patricia Hughes and Daniel Riordan. Dynamic Psychotherapy Explained. Second Edition. Radcliffe Publishing. 2006.


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The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


  1. Nice post! You truly have a wonderful way of writing which I find captivating! I will definitely be bookmarking you and returning to your blog. In fact, your post reminded me about a strange thing that happened to me the other day. I’ll tell you about that later…


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