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On the Central Task of Psychotherapy

Psychoanalytic and Family Perspectives
  • Helm Stierlin

Abstract

On September 21, 1897, Freud revoked the seduction theory of neuroses. This signaled the most severe crisis in his life and career. Till then, he had believed and publicly asserted that his patients’ neuroses could be traced to seductive, traumatizing parents or parent substitutes. Now he thought otherwise. This amounted, so he said, to the “Sturz aller Werte,” the collapse of all values. He was “certain,” he wrote in a letter to Wilhelm Fliess,1 “that in the unconscious there exists no marker of reality so that one cannot distinguish between truth and affect-laden fiction.” And, if this is so, he felt forced to conclude, our search for external traumatizing agents through a psychoanalysis must remain futile.

Keywords

Family Therapy Power Struggle Relational Reality Oedipus Complex Severe Crisis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helm Stierlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Psychoanalysis and Family TherapyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelberg 1Germany

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