The Theory and Practice of Psychoanalytic Therapy:
Listening for the Subtext

By Siri Erika Gullestad and Bjørn Killingmo

Translated from Norwegian into English by Lene Auestad

Routledge – Link to the book on the publisher’s website

Original title: Underteksten. Psykoanalytisk terapi i praksis. 2. utgave. Universitetsforlaget. Link to the Norwegian edition.

Routledge’s description: The Theory and Practice of Psychoanalytic Therapy: Listening for the Subtext outlines the core concepts that frame the reciprocal encounter between psychoanalytic therapist and patient, taking the reader into the psychoanalytic therapy room and giving detailed examples of how the interaction between patient and therapist takes place.

The book argues that the therapist must capture both nonverbal affects and unsymbolized experiences, proposing a distinction between structuralized and actualized affects, and covering key topics such as transference, countertransference and enactment. It emphasizes the unconscious meaning in the here-and-now, as well as the need for affirmation to support more classical styles of intervention. The book integrates object relational and structural perspectives, in a theoretical position called relational oriented character analysis. It argues the patient’s ways-of-being constitute relational strategies carrying implicit messages – a “subtext” – and provides detailed examples of how to capture this underlying dialogue.

Packed with detailed clinical examples and displaying a unique interplay between clinical observation and theory, this wide-ranging book will appeal to psychotherapists, psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists in practice and in training.



Preface to revised edition


Part I Theoretical foundation

Chapter 1 Key concepts

Chapter 2 Epistemological questions

Part II The Clinic

Chapter 3 A model

Chapter 4 The frame

Chapter 5 The psychoanalytic space

Chapter 6 Therapeutic listening

Chapter 7 The affective quality

Chapter 8 Egofunctioning

Chapter 9 Dynamics

Chapter 10 The analytic attitude

Chapter 11 The therapist’s interventions

Chapter 12 Clinical moves

Chapter 13 The end of the road

Chapter 14 On the curative

Chapter 15 On validation



About the authors:

Siri Erika Gullestad, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oslo, Norway, is a practising psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, and an experienced teacher and supervisor.

Bjørn Killingmo, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oslo, Norway, was a practising psychoanalyst and psychotherapist for many years, and an experienced teacher and supervisor.

Paperback: ISBN 9781138364356 Published October 3, 2019 by Routledge, 270 Pages

Hardback: ISBN 9781138364349 Published October 17, 2019 by Routledge, 270 Pages

E-Book: ISBN 9780429431425 Published September 20, 2019 by Routledge, 270 Pages