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Osman, M.P. Tabachnick, N.D. (1988). Introduction and Survey of some previous views. Psychoanal. Rev., 75(2):195-215.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Review, 75(2):195-215

Essentials of Psychoanalytic cure: A Symposium

Introduction and Survey of some previous views

Marvin P. Osman, M.D. and Norman D. Tabachnick, M.D.

A symposium on “Essentials of Psychoanalytic Cure” was held in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Society and of the Institute. The papers included are representative of a spectrum of contemporary psychoanalytic thought regarding the vital and unsettled issues of cure. First, they address those aspects of psychic change or amelioration of an emotional or characterological condition that they regard as crucial or essential in successful psychoanalysis. Second, the authors discuss those psychoanalytic techniques or interventions that they consider to be most significant or essential in bringing about desirable change or fulfillment of therapeutic aspirations.

The conference, as we saw it, follows in the tradition of Freud's incessant quest to understand his patients better and to perfect his therapeutic technique. This led him from hypnosis to free association and ultimately to those refinements that flowed from his development of the structural theory and the further clarification of defense mechanisms. Freud's initial attempts were expanded by those many psychoanalytic investigators who have focused on the essence of the psychoanalytic process. These include James Strachey (1934) with reference to mutative interpretations, Hans Loewald (1960) in his formulation of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis, and most recently, Heinz Kohut (1984). Indeed, there is a history of symposia, in addition to individual contributions, that will be referred to later in this paper.

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