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Allen, A. (1971). The Fee as a Therapeutic Tool. Psychoanal Q., 40:132-140.

(1971). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 40:132-140

The Fee as a Therapeutic Tool

Arnold Allen, M.D.


As an avenue for the expression of selective firmness and selective permissiveness in psychotherapy, the handling of the payment or nonpayment of the fee is discussed. Some clinical vignettes are described to illustrate either firmness or permissiveness in fee handling, based on dynamic and genetic considerations, as being constructive to the patient's progress in therapy. The interaction on this level can play an important part in terms of defining and affirming reality, providing structure, strengthening the ego and superego, or in helping the patient to achieve a greater degree of flexibility, using the therapist as a model for identification. When the charges and fee are not considered in terms of the total therapeutic interaction, a valuable therapeutic tool is being overlooked.

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