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Wallerstein, R.S. Nemetz, S.J. (1979). Conceptualizing the Nature of the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 27:127-144.

(1979). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 27:127-144

Conceptualizing the Nature of the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D. and S. Joseph Nemetz, M.D.

Robert S. Wallerstein opened the panel by posing what he saw as "The Questions." In the years 1952-1954, the American Psychoanalytic Association devoted four full-day panels to the comprehensive discussion of the range of conceptual and technical issues and controversies included in the varying understanding of the relationship between psychoanalysis and the so-called dynamic psychotherapies. These panels were in response to the challenge to our conceptualizations of the nature of psychoanalysis as a theory and as a therapy posed by the work of Franz Alexander and of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, who undertook to blur the distinctions between psychoanalysis proper and the derivative psychotherapies. From these panels emerged many important articles, particularly those by Edward Bibring, Merton Gill, and Leo Stone. Gill clearly delineated the conception of a spectrum or a continuum of psychotherapeutic approaches, all based thoroughly on psychoanalysis as theory, with three major crystallizations or nodal points: psychoanalysis proper at one end, exploratory or expressive psychoanalytically-based psychotherapy in the "intermediate" position, and supportive or suppressive psychoanalytically-based psychotherapy at the other end.

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