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Zilberg, N.J. Wallerstein, R.S. DeWitt, K.N. Hartley, D. Rosenberg, S.E. (1991). A Conceptual Analysis and Strategy for Assessing Structural Change. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 14(2):317-342.

(1991). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 14(2):317-342

A Conceptual Analysis and Strategy for Assessing Structural Change

Nathan J. Zilberg, Ph.D., Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D., Kathryn N. DeWitt, Ph.D., Dianna Hartley, Ph.D. and Saul E. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Psychoanalytic concepts of “psychological structure” and “structural change” can only have meaning with reference to

specific psychoanalytic personality theory. Since no unifying and universally accepted psychoanalytic theoretical perspective exists, it is not currently possible in principle to unambiguously discuss (or measure) psychological structure and structural change per se. Despite this obstacle to measuring psychological structure and change, there remains the problem in research on the process and outcome of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy of differentiating between changes in symptoms and manifest behavior patterns as against more basic, enduring “underlying” changes. As a strategy to deal with this dilemma, the authors adopt an indirect approach to assessment which is theoretically informed and yet theory neutral. In this paper they focus on critical conceptual issues and within this context specify their assessment strategy.

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