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Is the Alliance Really Therapeutic?

11/13/2017 1:44 PM | Anonymous

Last year I was surprised to read an article in JAPA that was filled with statistics.  This week I was equally surprised to receive an email from APA about the current American Psychologist, to click on the link, and to find that the first reference in the article was to Freud.  Once upon a time I won a bet with a behaviorist friend that Freud was cited more during a specific time frame than Skinner, but it seemed to me that the time was long past when psychoanalytic or psychodynamic articles would be the lead in the American Psychologist.


The second surprise was the title.  It appears from the title that the article is calling into question the primacy of the alliance as a predictor of therapeutic outcome.  Both my clinical and my evidence based selves reacted to this. 


Haven’t we fought long and hard to have Freud’s (1937/1964) “unobjectionable” transference (which this article cites in its opening passage and which in itself was wrestled from the “objectionable”, meaning pathological, transferences - as if these and other transferences really could be, in the words of one my favorite supervisors, “analyzed away”) to become, again following the article’s lead, Greenson’s (1965) working alliance and the many mutations of that before and since?

To read the full article, click here

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