Interpretation: Evolution of a concept and technique

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There is much theoretical and clinical literature on the efficacy of intcrpretation in psychoanalytic treatment. This paper traces the major contributions to the understanding of interpretation as hoth a concept and technique. Beginning with Freud, it examines thc controversies in the literature pertaining to the use of interpretation in the treatment of lower functioning patients, particularly those suffering from borderline and narcissistic disorders. The views of proponents of classical technique arc contrasted with those authors who apply a revised definition of interpretation with patients under the broadened scope of psychoanalysis. The paper will also examine thc place of interpretation in clinical social work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Analytic Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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