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Abend, S.M. (1990). The Psychoanalytic Process: Motives and Obstacles in the Search for Clarification. Psychoanal Q., 59:532-549.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:532-549

The Psychoanalytic Process: Motives and Obstacles in the Search for Clarification

Sander M. Abend, M.D.


One motive for regarding psychoanalysis as a "process," and for attempting to define its exact nature, is to enable analysts to clarify their criteria for distinguishing authentic psychoanalysis from other therapies that resemble it or are derived from it. In the present climate of theoretical pluralism, any list of defining qualities that could win wide acceptance would of necessity be cast in terms of such general quality as to limit its utility as a precise template. Another motive for holding on to the "process" concept arises from the unpredictable nature of analytic progress in even the most satisfactory cases.

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