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Richter, P. (1958). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. II, 1954: Psychoanalysis and Exploratory Psychotherapy. Merton M. Gill. Pp. 771-797.. Psychoanal Q., 27:286-287.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. II, 1954: Psychoanalysis and Exploratory Psychotherapy. Merton M. Gill. Pp. 771-797.

(1958). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 27:286-287

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. II, 1954: Psychoanalysis and Exploratory Psychotherapy. Merton M. Gill. Pp. 771-797.

Peter Richter

Gill points out that a basic problem in discussing the relation of psychotherapy to psychoanalysis lies in our confused and overlapping terminology. He would reserve the term 'psychoanalysis' for the classical psychoanalytic method and include under psychotherapy all other methods and modifications. He does not entirely agree with those who believe that no structural modification of the ego can be achieved through psychotherapy. His definition of psychoanalysis stresses the neutrality of the analyst, the resultant development of a regressive transference neurosis, and its resolution through interpretation alone. Neutrality is not a lack of responsiveness but rather a 'benevolent friendliness' of attitude which forms a baseline of consistent behavior. Regression is given impetus by

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such trappings of the analytic situation as the recumbent position and the lack of gratifications, but its regulation is dependent solely upon the analyst's interpretations. The actualized latent conflict can be freed only through the regressive transference neurosis. A 'parameter' is defined not descriptively but entirely by consideration of whether or not it is capable of being undone through subsequent interpretation.

In exploratory psychotherapy there is no neutrality; the therapist aids the patient with his decisions, emphasizes reality, and, though he may occasionally utilize the transference for interpretation, he actively discourages the development of a transference neurosis. The goals of the two methods differ: permanent modification of the ego is the goal in analysis, whereas in psychotherapy there is a range of objectives. Some modification of the ego is possible in prolonged psychotherapy that is nearer to the nondirective technique of analysis. This is possible for several reasons. 1, Exploratory psychotherapy occupies today a new position, no longer at an opposite pole to analysis. 2, It is possible for the ego to be altered by suggestion. (Here Gill emphasizes partial resolution of the transference.) 3, Many analysts today emphasize the adaptational approach. 4, Ego structure has not been thoroughly correlated with symptoms. Gill examines all these points in the light of current ego psychology and suggests that derivative conflicts may be autonomous and consequently resolvable though the basic conflict persists untouched.

Often in this carefully constructed and thoughtful paper the author pauses to make penetrating evaluations of current modifications of psychoanalytic method, particularly those of Alexander and Fromm-Reichmann. Although early in the paper Gill distinguishes sharply between the classical analytic method and the exploratory technique, particularly in regard to the therapist's activity and the role of the regressive transference neurosis, he somewhat confuses his position by a later shift of emphasis in both these respects.

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Article Citation

Richter, P. (1958). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. II, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 27:286-287

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