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De Jonghe, F. Rijnierse, P. Janssen, R. (1994). Psychoanalytic Supportive Psychotherapy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:421-446.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:421-446

Psychoanalytic Supportive Psychotherapy

Frans De Jonghe, M.D., Piet Rijnierse, M.D. and Rob Janssen, M.D.


Psychoanalytic Supportive Psychotherapy (PSP) is described as a distinct psychotherapeutic method rooted in the psychoanalytic frame of reference. It is argued (a) that PSP is psychotherapy and indeed a therapeutic modality on its own, (b) that it is supportive, and (c) that it is psychoanalytic. PSP is characterized by a therapeutic relationship determined predominantly by its primary relationship aspect, a therapeutic technique consisting in the main of supportive interventions, a therapeutic process that consists essentially of growing by experience, and a therapeutic goal residing in the first place in structure building. Like psychoanalysis proper, but in a substantially different way, it aims at structural personality change and can provide lasting results. As far as therapy is concerned, psychoanalysis is no longer a unimodal discipline. The psychoanalytic therapies include at least three treatment modalities: psychoanalysis proper, interpretive psychotherapy, and psychoanalytic supportive psychotherapy. Enlarging the number of therapeutic methods based on psychoanalytic theory represents a new approach to the widening scope of indications for psychoanalysis.

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