In view of its excellence and timeliness, the lack of familiarity with this book in the United States is striking. The work grew out of a brief psychotherapy project conducted by a group of psychoanalysts under the leadership of Michael Balint at Tavistock Clinic, London. Dr. Malan's book is a presentation of rationale, technique, and conclusions of this project; a comprehensive review of the subject of brief psychotherapy; and, above all, a significant contribution to psychotherapy research.
The clinical goal of the project was to reduce the length of psychotherapy, specifically by studying brief therapy carried out on a "deeper" and more intensive level by a group of analytically-trained therapists. The resulting research goal was the handling of the psychotherapy data in such a way that conclusions are based on more than "clinical impressions," thus making the evidence judicable by an independent observer.