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Slater, R. (1956). Aims of Psychoanalytic Therapy. Am. J. Psychoanal., 16(1):24-25.

(1956). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 16(1):24-25

Karen Horney On Psychoanalytic Technique

Aims of Psychoanalytic Therapy

Ralph Slater, M.D.

Compiled and edited from lectures on Psychoanalytic Technique given by the late Karen Horney at the American Institute for Psychoanalysis during the years 1946, 1950, 1951 and 1952. Further lectures in this series will appear in subsequent issues of the Journal.

Since the beginning of the psychoanalytic movement with Freud, the aims of this therapeutic method have undergone considerable change and development. The first goal was symptom removal. Thus, in the treatment of a phobic patient, the analyst's object was the removal of the phobia. Subsequently, Freud added, as a goal of therapy, helping the patient attain a greater capacity for enjoyment and work. These aims were developed within the framework of the libido theory. Subsequently, H. S. Sullivan emphasized that the object of analytic treatment was to help the patient establish good human relationships. Our aim is to help a patient improve in his relationships with others and with himself. This means helping the patient to move in the direction of greater freedom, inner independence and inner strength—in short, the aim is toward self-realization.

There is a basic antithesis between self-realization and self-idealization. The human individual needs favorable environmental conditions if he is to grow up to be himself, to actualize his potentialities and to make healthy relationships with people. If a child's environment provides genuine love and affection and healthy friction, discipline and guidance, he will grow according to his own inner laws.

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