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Abrams, S. (1990). The Psychoanalytic Process: The Developmental and the Integrative. Psychoanal Q., 59:650-677.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:650-677

The Psychoanalytic Process: The Developmental and the Integrative

Samuel Abrams, M.D.


Psychoanalysis is a treatment that focuses on intrapsychic events and activates integrative tendencies to promote insights. Almost from the time it originated, however, it was also promoted as a therapy informed by the interpersonal, inducing change through experiences generated within the psychoanalytic situation. In recent years the interpersonal or object relations approach has come to be categorized as "developmental," a term that fosters no end of ambiguities. The resulting confusion compromises the study of the actual developmental process on the one hand and the structure-enhancing features of transactions on the other. This encumbers research on the psychoanalytic process. The author distinguishes the intrapsychic from the interpersonal, the integrative from the developmental, and the two very different realms of psychological activities currently advanced as "developmental."

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