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Bibring, E. (1954). Psychoanalysis and the Dynamic Psychotherapies. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:745-770.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:745-770

Psychoanalysis and the Dynamic Psychotherapies

Edward Bibring, M.D.


A comparative study as defined by the title of this panel can be approached in different ways. In the following paragraphs an attempt is made to approach the task from a technical point of view by applying to it a conceptual scheme consisting of certain basic concepts of psychotherapy, which are called therapeutic principles and procedures, and which are considered to be applicable to all methods of psychotherapy independent of their respective ideologies or theoretical systems. The limited time makes it impossible to elaborate these basic principles and procedures into all detail. We can only offer a rather sketchy presentation of them.

To start with the terminology:

1. We make a distinction between "technical" and "curative" application of the principles, notwithstanding the fact that they are frequently overlapping, the former referring to the techniques employed in the various psychotherapies, the latter to the factors or agents which are responsible for the adjustive changes by originating or constituting them. The term "therapeutic" comprises both the technical as well as the curative aspect of the treatment process.

2. The term "techniques" refers to any purposive, more or less typified, verbal or nonverbal behavior on part of the therapist which intends to affect the patient in the direction of the (intermediary or final) goals of the treatment.

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