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Blanck, G. (1969-1970). Crossroads in the Technique of Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Rev., 56D(4):498-510.

(1969-1970). Psychoanalytic Review, 56D(4):498-510

Crossroads in the Technique of Psychotherapy

Gertrude Blanck, Ph.D.

Psychoanalytically oriented therapists are concerned with devising techniques of psychotherapy which can be useful in dealing with the disturbed patient population which is coming more and more to their attention. The technique of psychoanalysis, while still valid for the neurotic patient with adequate ego development, when transposed to the treatment of the borderline and psychotic categories, calls for modification if technique is to be effective with such patients. Much experimentation and even faddism have marked attempts to elaborate psychotherapeutic techniques. I propose to examine some of these, bearing in mind that suitable technique is required to fulfill at least two requisites of science: (1) it should be based upon a theoretical foundation that is well-proven and generally accepted, and (2) it should be teachable in scientific terms rather than reliant upon temperament or so-called “art.” While I do believe that there is a place for art in psychotherapy, I feel firmly that art lies in the individual style with which sound procedures are applied.

Most of us in this profession value open-mindedness and liberalism. An open-minded stance, however, becomes too much of a good thing when it overshadows scientific judgment. Eclecticism, which seems liberal, may in fact be nihilistic.

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