Here is a series of tweets that list the books I recommend reading for beginners and students interested in training in the field of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Reading choices depend on the reader’s familiarity with the field.
For readers that are completely unfamiliar with psychoanalytic theory or only superficially familiar with it, consider reading the following introductory book:
This was the book that I read many years ago as a very basic introduction and it is now very old, but it was just so easy to read. It focussed on a relatively old school of “ego psychology”, which is one of the main theoretical schools, but it helped make many basic concepts understandable. It is not now essential reading for training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and trainees can skip it and go to the recommendations that follow.
For trainees in psychotherapy, residents in training in psychiatry, and novice therapists who need to learn about psychodynamic/psychoanalytic psychotherapy and are able to be supervised by experienced therapists, the following book is probably the best option as a primary text. It comes with a few helpful video vignettes that illustrate some central concepts. It also provides a reasonable coverage of all necessary topics.
By Glen O. Gabbard​​​​​​​
Another introductory book that is recommended is:
By Nancy McWilliams​​​​​​​
I would also strongly suggest reading the following book chapter by Jonathan Shedler in addition to either (or both) of the above books. This short introduction may even be read before either of the above books as a quick, concise and jargon-free entry point for trainees:
By Jonathan Shedler​​​​​​​
The above chapter and two basic texts are adequate. However, I highly recommend the following two books as they provide the beginning therapist with a sense of what it is like to practice psychotherapy in different ways. The first describes theory and technique in a unique and enlivened manner that allows for a deeper and more experiential understanding of the therapeutic process, while the second summarizes the experience of long-term psychotherapy of five patients in a way that provides a glimpse of what the process of therapy is like.
By Teri Quatman
By Deborah Anna Luepnitz​​​​​​​
For people looking for comprehensive books that pull together introductions to the main theoretical schools with greater detail (but not too much depth in each theory) I would recommend one of the following:

A textbook that covers most main topics of psychoanalysis:

by Ethel S. Person, Arnold M. Cooper, Glen O. Gabbard​​​​​​​
However, there is a second edition now, and it is a bit different:
by Glen O. Gabbard, Bonnie E. Litowitz, Paul Williams​​​​​​​
Both editions are great but different. It seems to me that the 1st edition covered more topics, while they focussed in the 2nd edition on making it easy to read for someone new to the theories of psychoanalysis. 
And there is another really good book to describe object relations theories which have not been adequately covered in the textbook I mentioned above:

by Frank Summers​​​​​​​
Good understanding of the major theories is possible with the above books. There are obviously in depth books for each of the main theories and books that go in depth into the work of each major theorist. There are theories that are new or off-shoots from the main theories that are not necessarily covered in these books, but I would not recommend delving into them without a good grasp of the main theories.

I hope this helps.

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