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, 42 (2), 421-46

Psychoanalytic Supportive Psychotherapy


Psychoanalytic Supportive Psychotherapy

F De Jonghe et al. J Am Psychoanal Assoc.


Psychoanalytic Supportive Psychotherapy (PSP) is described as a distinct psychotherapeutic method rooted in the psychoanalytic frame of reference. It is argued (a) that PSP is psychotherapy and indeed a therapeutic modality on its own, (b) that it is supportive, and (c) that it is psychoanalytic. PSP is characterized by a therapeutic relationship determined predominantly by its primary relationship aspect, a therapeutic technique consisting in the main of supportive interventions, a therapeutic process that consists essentially of growing by experience, and a therapeutic goal residing in the first place in structure building. Like psychoanalysis proper, but in a substantially different way, it aims at structural personality change and can provide lasting results. As far as therapy is concerned, psychoanalysis is no longer a unimodal discipline. The psychoanalytic therapies include at least three treatment modalities: psychoanalysis proper, interpretive psychotherapy, and psychoanalytic supportive psychotherapy. Enlarging the number of therapeutic methods based on psychoanalytic theory represents a new approach to the widening scope of indications for psychoanalysis.

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