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Richards, A.K. (1997). The Relevance Of Frequency Of Sessions To The Creation Of An Analytic Experience. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:1241-1251.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:1241-1251

The Relevance Of Frequency Of Sessions To The Creation Of An Analytic Experience

Arlene Kramer Richards

An all-day panel organized by Arnold Rothstein discussed the topic of the relevance of frequency of sessions to the creation of an analytic experience. Rothstein, crediting Arnold Goldberg with having suggested the topic, posed a series of questions for the panel. The primary questions were (1) Can analysis take place at a three-times-per-week frequency? and (2) Under what conditions might such a frequency result in analytic treatment? A number of subsidiary questions followed: What is essential to a therapeutic experience to call it analytic? What is the relationship of frequency to the creation of that experience? How does one distinguish psychoanalysis from psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy? Also to be considered was the relationship between the personalities of patient and analyst in setting the frequency.

Two cases were presented in the morning and two in the afternoon. Each case was discussed directly after presentation. For reasons of confidentiality the cases will not be presented in detail here. To provide a coherent account without the detailed cases, the discussions are organized by presenter rather than by case.

Milton Viederman presented a case with a specimen hour. The work had initially been conducted twice weekly and now continues at three times. Another case was presented by Alan Z. Skolnikoff. That case, also initially conducted twice weekly, was increased to three and then four times a week.

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