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Bass, A. (2009). An Independent Theory of Clinical Technique Viewed Through a Relational Lens: Commentary on Paper by Michael Parsons. Psychoanal. Dial., 19(3):237-245.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19(3):237-245

An Independent Theory of Clinical Technique Viewed Through a Relational Lens: Commentary on Paper by Michael Parsons

Anthony Bass, Ph.D.

This discussion of Michael Parsons's exposition of the Independent Tradition's clinical theory of technique compares and contrasts the British Independent and American Relational perspectives in regard to their approach to technique. In this discussion I will consider the question whether, given strong object relational influences on relational psychoanalytic theory, we are able to locate systematic differences in the way that Independent and Relational analysts attempt to work, to be with, and to relate to their patients in the psychoanalytic situation. Overlapping historical roots of the two traditions are considered, along with apparent differences in the ways in which the contributions of common ancestors, such as Ferenzci, are applied. I suggest that the integration of American Interpersonal School ideas with Object Relations theory in American Relational Psychoanalysis led to a different therapeutic sensibility, different ways of thinking about and participating in the analytic process from those that are reflected in the Independent Tradition as Dr. Parsons describes it. The discussion includes an imaginative reconsideration of clinical process along relational lines, in an attempt to clarify different emphases in technique between the two schools.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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