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Hewitt, C.C. (1952). Short-Term Analytic Therapy. Am. J. Psychoanal., 12(1):69-73.

(1952). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 12(1):69-73

Short-Term Analytic Therapy

Charles C. Hewitt

Much has been said recently about psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy. The term is an excellent one if properly applied. Unfortunately it not infrequently refers to rather haphazard and poorly organized methods of therapy in which stereotyped analytic concepts are offered to the patient as interpretations. On the one hand, this kind of therapy may carry with it the implication that while the treatment being given is not psychoanalysis as such, the insights and therefore the benefits of analysis are being made available to patients. Much confusion has resulted over what is meant by the term “analytically oriented,” and the confusion has, in some instances led to abuses of psychoanalytic principles as well as being detrimental to the progress of psychotherapy in general.

On the other hand, there has also been a tendency to draw too sharp a distinction between psychoanalysis, as conducted by a qualified analyst trained in a recognized school, and psychotherapy in general. Since psychotherapy includes any psychologic method, even that of hyponotic suggestion or simple naive reassurance, the necessity for the distinction is understandable. Surprisingly little, however, has been written about the application of analytic insights by qualified psychoanalysts to the problem of short-term therapies in general.

Alexander and French, through the publication of case histories, have shown how beneficial analytic understanding can be when applied to situational problems and emotional difficulties within circumscribed areas.

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