In his contribution to the 1956 Round Table Discussion, Silvano Arieti outlines some ideas that he considers effective in working with psychically fragmented patients. He speculates that the most effective tool in such a treatment is the creation of a certain atmosphere, based on the transference–countertransference relationship. In the spirit of this atmosphere, communication can be reestablished, genetic interpretations are linked together and the patient has the potential to recover his social self by rebuilding trust in the I-Thou relationship. Arieti also addresses the importance of the analyst’s faith in the actualization of the potentialities of the patient who is struggling with primitive mental processes.

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Correspondence to Silvano Arieti.

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This article was originally presented at the Round Table Discussion, “What is effective in the therapeutic process?” at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Chicago, Illinois on May 1, 1956. Panel was moderated by: Bella S. Van Bark, MD. 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. and Louis E. DeRosis, M.D. This article was first published in the American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1957, 17:30–33, and is republished here.

1Silvano Arieti, M.D., (1914—1981) was a distinguished psychoanalyst, theoretician and psychiatrist, the author of important books and papers from the 1950's to the late 1970's. At the time of the Round Table Discussion in 1956 he was a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, State University College of Medicine at New York City and a Charter Member of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, founded in 1956.

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Arieti, S. WHAT IS EFFECTIVE IN THE THERAPEUTIC PROCESS? A ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION. Am J Psychoanal 75, 217–223 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/ajp.2015.5

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  • psychic fragmentation
  • regression
  • reintegration
  • basic trust
  • “I-Thou”
  • social self
  • transference–countertransference relationship
  • psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis