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Gill, M.M. (1984). Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: A Revision. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:161-179.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:161-179

Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: A Revision

Merton M. Gill


The increasing recognition that all aspects of the analytic situation are contributed to by both

parties, in however varying proportions, must be taken into account in conceptualizing crucial psychoanalytic concepts like transference, free association, regression and the role of the experience of the relationship. This recognition highlights the role of unwitting suggestion in all psychological therapy. It suggests that rather than by criteria of the setting, psychoanalytic technique may be characterized not only by the avoidance of witting suggestion but also by the analysis of both witting and unwitting suggestion and thus distinguished from psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy then become more dichotomous than continuous and the range of applicability of analytic technique, even if in the pursuit of only a partial and incomplete analysis, can be broadened in terms of frequency of sessions, recumbency, pathology, and experience of the therapist. In consideration of the possibility that analytic technique in such broadened circumstances may fail to include an induced regression, the role of unwitting suggestion in such induced regression is pointed out and the question is raised whether such regression beyond what the patient brings to the therapy is a desirable and necessary part of an analysis.

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