Toward a Definition of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Click Here to Read: Toward a Definition of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy by Jacob Arlow.

Introduction to Jacob Arlow’s paper:”Toward A Definition of Psychoanaltytic Psychotherapy”.
I thought I would begin, what will be a  weekly process that will be part of posting Jack’s papers on the Blog, with a few words on how I am placed in this most rewarding position.
I had a longstanding relationship with him that included supervision, both individual and group, and was able to provide him with some measure of comfort in the final stage of his life. I would visit him almost daily to provide whatever I could to alleviate in whatever form seemed most appropriate at the moment. This took the form of theoretical discussions and on a more tangible level some tasty treats that I came to learn lit up Jack’s eyes.
I was blessed by his choosing me as the Literary Executor To His Estate, that to a large part I shared with The Library of Congress.
   Although it spans a scant hundred years since Janet and Freud, the history of dynamic psychotherapy has encompassed an accelerating expansion of information and clinical expertise.What began as “Studies on Hysteria” has broadened into the investigation and treatment of emotional illness throughout the human life cycle. Psychodynamic psychotherapy explores the subtleties of the effect of the mind-body connection and the constitutional-experiential interface throughout the life cycle on behavior and our internal as well as our interpersonal lives. It is the patterns of early childhood- laid down on the foundation of our biological givens, our early familial experiences, and our interpersonal world- that forms the lenses through which we view the world throughout our lives and that give meaning to our adult experiences. Psychodynamic psychotherapy looks to change the present patterns through understanding the relationship of present symptomatic behaviors to past experiences that have provided the templates for those behaviors and for adult cognitive and emotional perception.
    It is important to reassess periodically our clinical decisions in the light of new information, so that we can modify our treatment approach if indicated. What comes through boldly in this paper we are placing before our readers the ongoing process of selecting and conducting psychotherapies appropriate to each individual’s situation.
Sheldon M. Goodman,Ph.D.

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