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Weinshel, E.M. (1992). Therapeutic Technique in Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:327-347.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:327-347

Therapeutic Technique in Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Edward M. Weinshel, M.D.


As the distinctions between what we consider to be psychoanalysis and what we consider to be psychoanalytic psychotherapy have become more uncertain and more blurred, it follows that it is equally difficult to designate the techniques that would be appropriate and specific for each modality. The problem has been compounded by the fact that in recent years psychoanalysis in the United States has become considerably less homogeneous than in the past and the ego-psychological structural model is no longer the only point of view in the psychoanalytic marketplace. Further, with alterations in the criteria for analyzability, cases which, generally, had not been viewed as suitable for analysis, have been appearing with increasing frequency on psychoanalysts' couches. We have also recognized that the degree of congruence between our expectations from and the results of psychoanalytic treatment was often less than anticipated. It appears that analysts have become considerably less arbitrary about what psychoanalysis is and how a psychoanalysis can be carried out. The author is unable to delineate one technique that is intrinsic to and limited to psychoanalysis. There are, however, differences in degree and emphasis in the ways in which various techniques are applied in the therapy of psychoanalysis as compared to the therapy of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Special attention is given to the role of a psychoanalytic process and the central place the analysis of resistance plays in psychoanalytic therapy.

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