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Lazar, R. (1996). Psychotherapy And Psychoanalysis: Relations Between The Two Modalities. Contemp. Psychoanal., 32:135.

(1996). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 32:135

Psychotherapy And Psychoanalysis: Relations Between The Two Modalities

Rina Lazar, Ph.D.


IN COMPARING PSYCHOANALYSIS and dynamic psychotherapy, one can begin by enumerating their unique, similar, and disparate characteristics, which I will do here. I believe, however, that the more difficult and more correct way to approach this topic is by attempting to clarify the worldview that guides us in selecting one or another of these therapeutic modalities. My assertion is that the choice does not necessarily stem from one's theoretical orientation and that the theoretical difference itself is not, at present, really so decisive. Here I shall attempt (1) to characterize the two modalities under discussion, which are both based on analytic theory but operate in different ways; (2) to question the very existence of a presumed direct link between analytic theory and its technique; (3) to illuminate and emphasize the increasingly blurred boundaries between these two techniques in recent times (their reciprocal influence, the mutuality of which has not been fully recognized); and (4) to characterize what distinguishes between the two as a personal factor, relating to values, emotions, and worldview, or as a sociocultural factor, rather than as a rational, "scientific" one.

Characterization and Definition

Psychotherapy was defined by Laplanche and Pontalis in two senses. In the broad sense, it is any method of treating psychic or somatic disorders that utilizes psychological means, or to be more specific, the therapeutic relationship itself (e.g., hypnosis, suggestion, reeducation, persuasian) as an instrument to achieve the desired change. In this sense, psychoanalysis


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Copyright © 1996 W. A. W. Institute

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Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 32, No. 1 (1996)

1 This paper was presented at the 19th annual conference of the Israeli Psychotherapy Society, May 1995, Natanya.

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