What is Modern Psychoanalysis?
Modern psychoanalysis rests upon the theoretical framework and clinical approach of Sigmund Freud, who defined psychoanalysis as any line of investigation that takes transference and resistance as the starting point of its work. It is the name given by Hyman Spotnitz to describe a body of developments in the theory of technique in order to apply the psychoanalytic method to the treatment of certain disorders previously thought to be untreatable by that method. It has been found to be applicable to all types of emotional illness including neuroses, psychoses, borderline conditions, depression, and character disorders. The findings of modern psychoanalysis have contributed new insights into both the dynamics of emotional illnesses and the mechanisms through which the analytic process cures these conditions.
These theories of the treatment of emotional illness include:
- ways that each patient processes destructive impulsivity in the analytic setting;
- transference repetition including not only experiences from the oedipal stage of development but also from the first two years of life as well as the prenatal period;
- the systematic utilization of patient-induced countertransference feelings and the effective use of emotional interchanges between analyst and analysand as an important clinical tool; and
- use of variations in technique as necessary to aid in the understanding of patient dynamics and to resolve resistance to personality maturation.