Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | 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.

Paul, I.H. (1976). Psychotherapy as a Unique and Unambiguous Event. Contemp. Psychoanal., 12:21-56.

(1976). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 12:21-56

Psychotherapy as a Unique and Unambiguous Event Related Papers

I. H. Paul, Ph.D.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION: It is the first session with a patient about whom I know very little—schedule and fee arrangements have already been made, and I have told him what I usually tell a new patient about how the therapy will proceed—and midway into the session he announces that he is writing an autobiography for me. These, let us imagine, are his words:

After I spoke to you on the phone last week and we made the appointment for me to begin psychotherapy today, I sat right down and began writing my autobiography for you. I've been working on it for about an hour every evening before I go to bed; and I figure it should take me another few days to complete it. So I'll give it to you next time.

How I respond to the announcement, and then to the issues that my response can cause, will depend on the kind of psychotherapy I intend to conduct; and that intention will be determined by two sets of considerations: (1) who the patient is and what his circumstances and reasons for seeking treatment are; and (2) what my professional convictions are with respect to the optimal form (or forms) of psychotherapy. If I intend to conduct as classical a psychoanalysis as possible, for instance, I would most likely regard a written autobiography to be dissonant and inappropriate. I would want to know the meaning and significance of the patient's decision to write one for me, but I would not want to take a noncommital attitude towards such a serious deviation from the procedure of psychoanalysis; and therefore I would probably tell him that for me to read his autobiography could be a a significant departure from my preferred way of conducting treatment.

[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 © 2019, 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.