At the Round Table discussion William V. Silverberg speculated that insight and experience in the interaction between patient and therapist are two main factors in change in psychoanalytic therapy. The two factors work hand in hand, according to Silverberg. Insight contributes to the uncovering of the existence of unconsciously held convictions and “life experience” is the trust that develops between patient and therapist, helped by the good will of the analyst. Silverberg calls this the “silent” aspect of psychoanalysis. The trustworthiness of the therapist serves to confirm the new insight and to enable the patient to act upon it. Insight is an understanding, experienced in the process of dealing in new ways with old situations.

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Correspondence to William V Silverberg.

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The Paper was originally presented at the Second Roundtable Discussion, “What leads to basic change in psychoanalytic therapy?” at a Scientific Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis on April 26, 1964. Panel was moderated by: Melvin Boigon, M.D.; Presenters were: Alfred H. Rifkin, M.D., William V. Silverberg, M.D., and Frederick A. Weiss, M.D.This article was first published in the American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1965, 25:130–133, and is republished here.

1William V. Silverberg, M.D. (1898–1967) was the first president of the Association of the Advancement of Psychoanalysis; Founder of the psychoanalytic program at New York Medical College and Charter Member and a President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis.

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Silverberg, W. WHAT LEADS TO BASIC CHANGE IN PSYCHOANALYTIC THERAPY? A ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION. Am J Psychoanal 75, 226–230 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/ajp.2015.20

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  • insight
  • experience
  • silent factor
  • mutually trusting analytic relationship