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Prince, R.M. (2015). Conclusion of the Contemporary Roundtable. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(2):169-172.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(2):169-172

Conclusion of the Contemporary Roundtable

Robert M. Prince, Ph.D., ABPP

I am deeply grateful to the five participants in the contemporary Roundtable. The sheer range of their responses testifies to the scope and complexity of the task. Over 50 years from the original Roundtables (Van Bark, 1957; Boigon, 1965) the diversity of orientation has enlarged not narrowed; yet this group is, if anything more open to and considerate of their differences while their contributions are studded with lapidary insights.

Although the charge was the same as it was a half century ago, it might have been fairer to pose a simpler question, “What is not effective in psychoanalytic therapy?” I imagine the current group—immersed in clinical reality and institutional experience, while they also hold distinct and coherent positions, as their essays reflect—answering simply: “Treating the theory not the person.” The delight of their approach is that even as they represent distinct positions and various therapeutic priorities (usually understood as binary contrasts), neutrality, warmth and responsiveness, activity, passivity, expressiveness, maintenance of the frame, flexibility, interpretation, co-construction, mutuality, insight, experience, enactment, corrective emotional experience, mirroring, mutative internalization and transference are posed here as a broad and textured territory, rather than as binary contrasts, reflecting an acceptance of the enormous plasticity of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

I have discovered over time that the most consistent feature of my therapeutic effectiveness is liking the patient.

[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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