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Boesky, D. (1988). Comments on the Structural Theory of Technique. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 69:303-316.

(1988). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69:303-316

Comments on the Structural Theory of Technique

Dale Boesky


This paper advocates the clinical and theoretic superiority of structural theory in accounting for our therapeutic efforts to influence the phenomena of intrapsychic conflict. The fit between structural theory and technique is epitomized in the equidistant posture of interpretations vis à vis the id, ego, and the superego. The therapeutic effect of interpretations thus viewed is to alter pathologic compromise formations in a manner which will ultimately result in structural change that will be observable by the reduction of psychic pain, the increase in opportunities for realistic pleasure, and the diminished need for punishment. The paper reviews certain recent disagreements about the relation between interpretation, insight, and change on the one hand and the nature of transference and resistance on the other. Arguments are presented against the view that positive and negative transference can be simply contrasted as helping or hindering the progress of analytic treatment. Finally, the terms 'structure' and 'structural change' are defined.

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