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Ritvo, S. Scharfman, M.A. (1979). Conceptualizing the Nature of the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 27:627-642.

(1979). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 27:627-642

Conceptualizing the Nature of the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis

Samuel Ritvo, M.D. and Melvin A. Scharfman, M.D.

Dr. Samuel Ritvo introduced the panel as one which was focused on the central issue of how psychoanalysis works as a therapy. In the four decades since Freud's last writings on the subject, psychoanalysts have widened the scope and range of mental conditions to which analysis has been applied as a therapy, largely as a consequence of theoretical advances based on new observations within the psychoanalytic situation and others derived from direct observational studies of child development. Freud saw the therapeutic action of analysis as stemming in part from the fact that the adult analysand's ego, as it became aware of previously unconscious conflicts, centered largely in childhood, would be able to find new solutions to these earlier conflicts because the ego was more mature and stronger than it had been in childhood. The original repressions which had played a part in neurosogenesis would be demolished or revised, even while some more stable repressions might be constructed.

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