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Pulver, S.E. (1991). Psychoanalytic Technique: Progress During the Past Decade. Psychoanal. Inq., 11(1/2):65-87.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 11(1/2):65-87

Psychoanalytic Technique: Progress During the Past Decade

Sydney E. Pulver, M.D.

Changes in psychoanalytic technique, like changes in patients, take place slowly. They tend to be changes of emphasis rather than of substance, and they are almost always the outcome of debates that reach back many years. The changes in technique that have taken place over the past decade are no exception. They are the outgrowth of the debate about the scientific versus humanist view of psychoanalysis, a dialectic that can be found in Freud's earliest writings. The view of the psychoanalytic process as taking place in a relationship between two people with the analyst as participant-observer has slowly but surely gained ascendance over the earlier picture of the analyst as the objective observer using the dissecting table of the analytic couch. In this article, I will describe some of the ways these changes have been manifested. In doing so, I will be describing changes in what I think of as the “average expectable” technique practiced by eclectic adult analysts in the United States. My description will necessarily be subjective and value-laden, since I look favorably upon the direction in which psychoanalysis is going, and see these changes as advances.

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