Remote psychoanalytic therapy


The COVID-19 pandemic has turned distance therapy into a very useful clinical practice and has raised the need to deepen it. This article discusses this treatment modality and places it in the context of its emergence.

We reflect on its virtual characteristics: time, space, distance, privacy and intimacy. We refer to the differences and similarities, the advantages and disadvantages, with respect to presential therapies. We briefly describe the various distance psychoanalytic modalities according to the social media used, their therapeutic objective or their duration.

Distance therapy, psychoanalytical time, psychological space, psychological distance, privacy, intimacy

[Automatic translation from Spanish]:

The incorporation of psychoanalysis at a distance means an opportunity to extend the scope of analytic therapy to people, places or circumstances previously unthinkable. But it is also an opportunity, of a different order, to reflect on fundamental aspects of our usual practice from a different perspective. Non-presential therapy can help us to rethink face-to-face therapy, to force us to rethink concepts, to redefine them. When we are faced with a change like this, which affects the setting, transference, the link and other nodal points of the device, we are forced to ask ourselves what is modified and what is maintained with respect to the traditional model. In short, we have to decant the essence of the method, what is specific and defining about the psychoanalytic approach, because this, the essence of the psychoanalytic method, is present in the multiplicity of clinical practices that have developed over time.

Let us consider that clinical psychoanalysis has evolved enormously over time. It has broadened its field of application and each leap to a new modality has implied very noticeable changes in the framing and the way of working. Freud began by treating only neurotics and later moved on to the treatment of other pathologies. At the beginning, only adults were treated, then came the analysis of children, and later came the analysis of couples, families and groups. It would be necessary to consider whether distance therapies represent a change of greater or lesser importance than those mentioned above.

Alberto Grinberg, Anna Segura
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