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Kaplan, D.M. (1966). Classical Psychoanalysis: Policies, Values and the Future. Psychoanal. Rev., 53A(1):99-111.

(1966). Psychoanalytic Review, 53A(1):99-111

Classical Psychoanalysis: Policies, Values and the Future

Donald M. Kaplan, Ph.D.

The term classical psychoanalysis conjures up—I think it is safe to say in every clinician—certain inevitable images and thoughts: the reclining patient with the analyst seated behind him—in the zealous quiet, the patient is talkative and not too agitated; the analyst is very attentive, yet inclined to do as little as possible; and the dialogue between them is searching and, at any random moment, probably inconclusive—the session seems to be filled with great concern about what the patient is saying and going through; yet, peculiarly, the ending of the session is not momentous—or, at least, neither person does anything to indicate that it is, for they appear to have learned that this session is one faint unit in a process which is measured by seasons and years—the sessions will go on and on….

….at which point in our imaginings we begin to find ourselves gravitating toward one or another side of a controversy. We begin to feel a necessity to defend the scene or modify it, if not attack it. A battleline is drawn between familiar ideologic categories—progressive and reactionary, for example, liberal and orthodox. And try as we may, it is often difficult to remain uninvolved in the controversy, since the controversy finds expression in the actual affairs and politics of our analytic groups and associations.

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