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Hanly, C. (1994). Clinical Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Models. Psychoanal. Inq., 14(2):164-184.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 14(2):164-184

Clinical Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Models

Charles Hanly, Ph.D.

I shall argue that multiple models, in Pine's (1990) sense, are essential to clinical psychoanalysis but that the classical model provides the basis for their integration. It is not just that the classical model provides the conceptual tools necessary for integrating the observational findings and technical recommendations of object relations theory and self psychology. If true, that would be theoretically and logically interesting, but not, in itself, clinically important. The classical model provides an approach to the understanding of the interconnections among drives, ego, object relations, and narcissism. Herein lies its clinical usefulness. Herein lies its peculiar strength as a guide to the understanding of psychopathology.

The classical model, let it be clear, does not throw a greater weight on drives than on object relations as aetiological factors in neuroses. Freud no more abandoned the pathogenic importance of object relations than he abandoned the pathogenic influence of sexual seduction in childhood.

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