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Classical psychoanalytic psychotherapies are first-generation evolutions of the original Freudian paradigm. They were elaborated in the first 60 years of psychoanalytic writing. The psychotherapist was a dispassionate surgeon of the mind who would present a blank screen to his or her patients. Onto this screen, the patient would “transfer” his or her painful early object relations. The therapist’s evenly suspended attention would allow him or her to gain access to the patient’s unconscious conflicts as expressed through dreams, free associations, and somatic experience. The evolution of the classical approach has produced a more focused concentration on countertransference as a method of both understanding the patient’s internal world and formulating effective interventions. Throughout the early years of classical thinking, insight and interpretation have remained core to ...

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