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Gray, P. (1990). The Nature of Therapeutic Action in Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 38:1083-1096.

(1990). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 38:1083-1096

The Nature of Therapeutic Action in Psychoanalysis

Paul Gray, M.D.


The nature of therapeutic action varies not only with each patient's psychological predilection for utilizing opportunities for change, but also with the manner in which the analyst or therapist presents opportunity for change. Ideally, the therapist bases the latter on personally identifiable theoretical concepts and aims. This inquiry focuses on a relatively narrow field of clinical material in order to provide as close as possible an examination of therapeutic action. The technical approach provides opportunities for change, minimizing alterations resulting from internalizing processes or suggestion. The therapeutic actions arise from analyst and patient sharing observations of the patient's intrapsychic activities of resistance to drive derivatives the patient briefly allowed into consciousness, and represent processes of ego maturation set in motion by intellectually gained and experientially exercised insights.

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