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Rangell, L. (1981). Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychotherapy—Similarities and Differences Twenty-Five Years Later. Psychoanal Q., 50:665-693.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 50:665-693

Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychotherapy—Similarities and Differences Twenty-Five Years Later

Leo Rangell, M.D.


In the 1930's when this Quarterly was born, psychoanalysis was achieving its maturity with the addition of ego psychology to the psychology of the drives. During that decade the concern was to preserve the identity of psychoanalysis in the midst of derivative schools which emphasized mainly cultural factors at the expense of the internal psychic world. In the 1940's the success of the newly established discipline came to be widely appreciated in its applicability to emotional disturbances during World War II. In the 1950's, in the flush of its accepted status and now dominant position in Departments of Psychiatry, the task became to facilitate its growth while continuing to prevent its identity from being blurred.

This was the ambience in 1954 when a cluster of papers and panels were published delineating the similarities and differences between psychoanalysis and dynamic psychotherapy, its most important derivative technique. Published at the same time were several panels on the diagnosis and treatment of the borderline state.

In 1979 the Southern Regional Psychoanalytic Societies sponsored a symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by the Atlanta Psychoanalytic Society, at which three authors who had contributed to the 1954 discussions were invited to update their views on "Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Similarities and Differences, a 25-Year Perspective." The participants were Merton M. Gill, Leo Stone, and I.

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