Interpersonal psychoanalysis (IP) is a theory of how personality develops and how to facilitate personality change. Based on analytic concepts and techniques, IP states that psychological intimacy is thoroughly interpersonal; thus, it emphasizes the exploration of the analytic process through the relationship between the analyst and the patient and understanding of the unconscious and defense mechanisms within this context.

Historical Context

Beginning more than 70 years ago, the interpersonal school has evolved into a complex and diverse category of psychoanalytical thinking. Its roots can be found in the American school of psychoanalytical history, and its founders include Harry Stack Sullivan (1892–1949), Erich Fromm (1900–1980), Frieda Fromm-Reichman (1889– 1957), Clara Thompson (1893–1958), and Karen Horney (1885–1952). Sullivan was not traditionally trained in analysis but integrated his interests in ...

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