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Kanzer, M. (1981). Freud's "Analytic Pact": The Standard Therapeutic Alliance. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 29:69-87.

(1981). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 29:69-87

Freud's "Analytic Pact": The Standard Therapeutic Alliance

Mark Kanzer, M.D.


Freud's "analytic pact," as the final therapeutic model he evolved (1937), (1940), places the fundamental rule in a two-person structural framework that operates in a continuum between the inner reality and outer reality of both patient and analyst as these come to center in the analytic situation.

To Freud's basic definition of psychoanalysis as related to resistance and transference, a third component is added, the collaboration that has been a feature of the treatment since the beginning.

The alliance postulated by the pact relates a helpful physician to a sufferer in a carefully regulated operational field and atmosphere suitable for a particular technique and therapeutic goal. Actually the alliance may be decribed from the aspect of component combinations as described in different frameworks—structural, topographic, developmental, realistic, adaptive, etc. In diverse forms of analytic or analytically oriented forms of therapy, selected aspects of the alliances receive greater prominence—but a fully informed analytic therapy retains contact with all the elements involved.

Organizational aspects of the fundamental rule with respect to the flow of associations and the transient and structured interactions of patient and physician are examined with regard to their dynamic and linguistic features.

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