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Gill, M.M. (1983). The Interpersonal Paradigm and the Degree of the Therapist's Involvement. Contemp. Psychoanal., 19:200-237.

(1983). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 19:200-237

The Interpersonal Paradigm and the Degree of the Therapist's Involvement

Merton M. Gill, M.D.

I WILL BEGIN WITH A BRIEF ACCOUNT of the history of this paper because I believe that will make it more understandable. During the past few years when I have presented my views on the centrality of the analysis of transference and especially on the participation on the analyst in determining how the transference is expressed I have on occasion been asked what was the relation between my ideas and those of Sullivan and later interpersonalists. The question usually implied that there was a strong similarity. Having been reared as a proper Freudian with a more or less unthinking dismissal of Sullivan and interpersonal writings, I was unable to answer. I told myself that I should study these writings, even if I had to risk losing illusions of originality.

What finally forced me to take the question of the relation between my ideas and interpersonal writings seriously was the invitation to present a paper to you. Indeed the invitation referred to a compatibility between my ideas on transference and your views. So I began to read your writings, especially the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis, but also books by Chrzanowski (1977), Levenson (1972), Singer (1965), and Wolstein (1959). What follows is the partial result of reflection on this reading, which naturally was in the context of how it related to my ideas on transference.

I became progressively aware of an important distinction between two cleavages in psychoanalytic thought which had been more or less fused in my mind.

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