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Prince, R.M. (2015). What is Effective in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy? A Historical Reprise. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(2):121-125.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(2):121-125

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What is Effective in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy? A Historical Reprise Related Papers

Robert M. Prince, Ph.D., ABPP

An apt endeavor for this 75th Anniversary of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis is to re-experience the thinking in 1956 (Van Bark, 1957) and again in 1964 (Boigon, 1965)2 via representing two historic Roundtables, 10 years apart, by a group of psychoanalysts, addressing the related but not identical questions, what is effective, what leads to basic change in psychoanalytic psychotherapy? The Roundtable format is very different from a single article or even focused collection in that it expresses the entire Gestalt of the participants everyday clinical thinking in the context of their social matrix and the subject here draws to the slippery slope of the psychoanalytic project, that is, the concept of psychological health. Participating in our contemporary Roundtable discussion, more than half a century after the original, constitutes a trip through a time tunnel, bringing the sensibilities of today's context to an earlier historical era where implicit assumptions lurk in the background and the established authorities are articulating, in condensed form, their bedrock ideas that define the prevailing climate. Our first question should be: What is the experience of going back in time? Going back in time to the generation of our teachers, to world views that were generative but also fomented our rebellion, and may have inspired us to start our own quest, to try to go further and make judgments about our progress.

Then, much as today, psychoanalysis was characterized by competing points of view.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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