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Frank, K.A. (1990). Action Techniques in Psychoanalysis—Background and Introduction. Contemp. Psychoanal., 26:732-756.
   

(1990). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 26:732-756

Action Techniques in Psychoanalysis—Background and Introduction

Kenneth A. Frank, Ph.D.

INTEREST IN INTEGRATING PSYCHOANALYTIC with action techniques has received increasing attention in recent years (Arkowitz & Messer, 1984) ; (Wachtel, 1977), (1987). My personal interest in psychotherapy integration stems from extensive experience over the years with psychosomatic patients, who often have a limited capacity to benefit from psychoanalytic treatment (Frank, Heller & Kornfeld, 1979) ; (Nunez, Frank & Kornfeld, 1987) ; (VandenBos & De Leon, 1988).

This paper will first address some of the resistances among psychoanalysts to integrating action techniques with psychoanalysis. Discussing a number of recent theoretical developments, I hope to show that many of these resistances are no longer valid, but are vestiges of the past. I will illustrate how behavioral interventions can have substantial impact upon intrapsychic processes. Describing how a new, more integrative relational approach lends itself well to the use of action techniques, I will outline an integrative approach which I have found useful, and will illustrate this approach with clinical material.

The obstacles to formal psychotherapy integration are considerable,

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The author wishes to express his appreciation to Paul L. Wachtel for his thoughtful reactions to an earlier draft of this paper.

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Copyright © 1990 W. A. W. Institute

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Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 26, No. 4 (1990)

1 For editorial purposes, the abbreviated term "action techniques" is used throughout the paper to represent the full complement of cognitive-behavioral techniques. For example, see Beck (1976), Beck, Rush, Shaw & Emery (1979), Ellis (1975), Marks (1981), and Meichenbaum (1977).

2 Within psychoanalysis, as in psychotherapy more broadly, there are many forms of conceptual and technical integration; unless otherwise specified, I will use the term "integration" to refer specifically to that between psychoanalytic and cognitive-behavioral techniques.

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