Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To use the Information icon…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Information icon  (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Burton, A. (1966). Therapeutic Interruption: Planned and Unplanned. Am. J. Psychoanal., 26(1):81-87.

(1966). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 26(1):81-87

Therapeutic Interruption: Planned and Unplanned

Arthur Burton, Ph.D.

Not much is known as to why a patient in long-term psychotherapy or psychoanalysis suddenly fails to keep his appointment and terminates treatment; or why a particular patient fails to improve with a highly qualified psychotherapist, but does improve—sometimes remarkably—with one obviously inferior in training. In the same vein, do we know the specific circumstances by which we are impelled to refer a patient in the midst of a long-term psychotherapy to another psychotherapist? These and similar questions were posed by the referral of mid-stream patients to me, by my referral of such patients to others, and by the self-referral of patients who had abruptly left psychotherapists whom I greatly respected. I generically call these situations Therapeutic Departures. This paper is an attempt to define the parameters involved in such departures, and while I am not satisfied that I have reached understanding of them, the following observations may possibly be useful to psychotherapists.

The selection and retention of the long-term patient follows the laws of similarity and dissimilarity, that is, congruence. By this I mean the similarities and dissimilarities of the unconscious structure of the two participants. It would of course be absurd to say that no patients can be given psychotherapy without such a congruence. But in the treatment of a chronic schizophrenic patient, for example, it cannot be expected that both participants could meet and handle the often bone-breaking

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2017, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.