WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CONFRONTATION IN PSYCHOTHERAPY?
The psychoanalytic use of confrontation was, of course, originated by Sigmund Freud. Freud believed that the pathological factor in neurosis was not the patient’s ignorance of his mental mechanisms but his “inner resistance,” which brought the ignorance into being in the first place. Therefore, Freud generally remained passive and limited confrontation to interpretation of transference and resistance, and to occasional reality testing.Freudian psychoanalysts have in general continued to follow this practice.
Many analysts who followed Freud used confrontation in a less limited way. Karen Horney, who broke with Freud over the importance of the influence of cultural factors, rejected the role of the analyst as merely an “interpreting voice” rather than a reactive human being. If she believed the patient was “running into a blind alley” she would not hesitate to actively intervene and suggest alternatives.
Alfred Adler was the first of these analysts who actively confronted his patients with…
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