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Valenstein, A.F. (1979). The Concept Of "classical" Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 27S(Supplement):113-136.

(1979). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 27S(Supplement):113-136

The Concept Of "classical" Psychoanalysis

Arthur F. Valenstein, M.D.

THIS PAPER REFLECTS A LONG-STANDING INTEREST in comparative studies of various psychotherapies and different approaches to clinical psychoanalysis. Perhaps it is timely, in this era of the broadly extended scope of psychoanalysis, to consider once again the nature of therapeutic psychoanalysis as such; that is, in the narrower or special sense which is implied when one speaks of "classical psychoanalysis."

When I suggest that reconsideration is indicated at this time I do so advisedly. For example, one of the panels which was on the scientific program of the American Psychoanalytic Association in December 1977 was titled, "The Nature of the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis." Is this so different from the main symposium on "The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis," held at the 22nd Congress of the International Psycho-Analytical Association in Edinburgh in 1961? Twenty-five years earlier the archetypical scientific meeting on this subject took place, the Marienbad Symposium, in 1936, on "The Theory of the Therapeutic Results of Psycho-Analysis."

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