Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 32, Issue 2–3, pp 145–165

Fundamental Dilemmas in Contemporary Psychodynamic and Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy



Contemporary psychotherapists are being called on to provide treatment with increased degrees of brevity and efficacy. To meet these demands, the practice of brief psychodynamic psychotherapy has turned to (a) the increased emphasis upon a specific psychodynamic focus for treatment versus the more comprehensive goals of longer-term treatment, and (b) the augmented use of confrontation of psychological defenses versus the enhanced use of emotional support as in more nondirective psychotherapy. Other approaches to insight-oriented psychotherapy that have been influenced by this trend include: client-centered psychotherapy with its focus upon the therapeutic relationship; existential psychotherapy with its focus upon death anxiety; and, the revitalization of interpersonal psychotherapy from its original Sullivanian conceptualization. The clinical dilemmas that limitations of time and restricted therapeutic focus place upon each of these methods of treatment are the central issues of this discussion.

clinical dilemmas psychodynamic client-centered existential interpersonal 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology Internship Program, Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic (116A1), Department of Veterans Affairs, Syracuse VAMedical CenterSyracuse

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