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Tähkä, V. (1979). Psychotherapy as Phase-Specific Interaction: Towards a general psychoanalytic theory of psychotherapy. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(2):113-132.

(1979). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 2(2):113-132

Psychotherapy as Phase-Specific Interaction: Towards a general psychoanalytic theory of psychotherapy

Veikko Tähkä, M.D.

During almost thirty years as psychoanalyst and psychotherapist I have become increasingly aware of the wide differences in the principal curative factors of psychotherapeutic interaction with patients representing different levels of psychopathology. In this paper I have tried to outline a preliminary sketch of psychotherapy as a phasespecific interaction in which the curative factors change in accordance with the changes in the level of the patient's relatedness to his therapist. What in the classical analysis are defined as ”parameters“ of the technique appear to be curative factors of prime importance when dealing with patients whose disturbances are more severe than neurosis. This paper is a preliminary report of a larger study under preparation. To give a picture of that in a short paper necessitates a very condensed presentation which may at times appear schematic or oversimplifying. I hope that this impression can be modified in a forthcoming, more elaborated presentation of the thoughts under consideration.


The so-called classical analysis was originally a psychotherapeutic technique developed by Freud for the treatment of neurotic patients.

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