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Classical psychoanalytic technique, which called for the role of the analyst to be a scientific observer, removed from interaction with the patient, imposed such restrictions on the analyst that often his or her simple human responsiveness to the patient was curtailed. Harry Stack Sullivan revolutionized the field by introducing the concept of "participant observation," and others of his time made similar observations. Gradually, over the years, analysts have become more real, more human, and more interactive with their patients. Contrary to classical opinion, this departure from the original technique does not interfere with analytic work, and, in fact, enhances it, if the analyst monitors and analyzes the reactions of patients to this more human engagement. Examples are provided to support this conclusion.
Journal of Religion and Health © 1994 Springer