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Loewald, H.W. (1960). On the Therapeutic Action of Psycho-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:16-33.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:16-33

On the Therapeutic Action of Psycho-Analysis Language Translation

Hans W. Loewald, M.D.

Advances in our understanding of the therapeutic action of psycho-analysis should be based on deeper insight into the psycho-analytic process. By 'psycho-analytic process' I mean the significant interactions between patient and analyst which ultimately lead to structural changes in the patient's personality. Today, after more than fifty years of psycho-analytic investigation and practice, we are in a position to appreciate, if not to understand better, the role which interaction with environment plays in the formation, development, and continued integrity of the psychic apparatus. Psycho-analytic ego-psychology, based on a variety of investigations concerned with ego-development, has given us some tools to deal with the central problem of the relationship between the development of psychic structures and interaction with other psychic structures, and of the connexion between ego-formation and object-relations.

If 'structural changes in the patient's personality' means anything, it must mean that we assume that ego-development is resumed in the therapeutic process in psycho-analysis. And this resumption of ego-development is contingent on the relationship with a new object, the analyst. The nature and the effects of this new relationship are under discussion. It should be fruitful to attempt to correlate our understanding of the significance of object-relations for the formation and development of the psychic apparatus with the dynamics of the therapeutic process. A first approach to this task is made here.

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