WHAT IS EFFECTIVE IN PSYCHOANALYTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY? A HISTORICAL REPRISE

Abstract

While psychoanalysis as a field has moved from the ideal of technical neutrality to a vision of the therapist as more human, real, and empathically engaged, relatively little attention has been paid to the implications of this evolution. For Freud, technical neutrality provided an important protection against bias and suggestion, one problematized by a view of the psychoanalyst’s participation and influence as intrinsic to the therapeutic enterprise. The impact of this change on the evaluation of mechanisms of change is contextualized and discussed by the author.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The Roundtable Discussion, “What is effective in the therapeutic process?” took place at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Chicago, Illinois on May 1, 1956. Bella S. Van Bark, M.D. moderated the panel. Other presenters were Elizabeth Kilpatrick, M.D., Lewis Wolberg, M.D., Marianne Horney Eckardt, M.D., Frederick A. Weiss, M.D., Leslie H. Farber, M.D., Louis E. DeRosis, M.D., and Silvano Arieti, M.D.

  2. 2.

    The Scientific Program Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, under the chairmanship of Dr. Frederick A. Weiss, arranged the Roundtable Discussion, “What Leads to Basic Change in Psychoanalytic Therapy?” at the New York Academy of Medicine in the Spring of 1964. Melvin Boigon, M.D. moderated the panel. Other participants were William V. Silverberg, M.D., Frederick A. Weiss, M.D. and Alfred H. Rifkin, M.D.

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Correspondence to Ronald C Naso.

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This reaction paper is part of the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Special Issue, guest edited by Dr. Robert M. Prince. Other responders to the 1956 and 1964 AJP Roundtables are: Dr. Steven D. Axelrod, Dr. Sheldon Itzkowitz, Dr. Emily Kuriloff and Dr. Larry M. Rosenberg.

1Ronald C. Naso, Ph.D., ABPP is psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in independent practice in Stamford, CT.

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Naso, R. WHAT IS EFFECTIVE IN PSYCHOANALYTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY? A HISTORICAL REPRISE. Am J Psychoanal 75, 126–133 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/ajp.2015.17

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Keywords

  • bias
  • influence
  • narrative
  • relational
  • suggestion