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Bader, M.J. (1994). The Tendency to Neglect Therapeutic Aims in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal Q., 63:246-270.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:246-270

The Tendency to Neglect Therapeutic Aims in Psychoanalysis

Michael J. Bader


In our theory and practice as psychoanalysts, we have a tendency to idealize and elevate process goals over therapeutic outcome. This tendency is problematic because it deprives us of a vital check and balance in our technique and can lead to an implicit pessimism about our ability to systemically evaluate and modify our theory of therapeutic action. This trend in analytic thinking is traced, and vignettes are presented to illustrate it. Speculations about the reasons for the tilt toward process goals and away from therapeutic goals are offered.

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