Understanding the patient and how s/he thinks is at the cornerstone of all psychological and psychiatric pursuits. Even in this age of pharmaceuticals treating the patient requires an understanding of how they view their symptoms on how the medical professional views both the patient and his/her symptoms.
This article seeks to define traditional approaches to psychotherapy and how they affect a diagnosis and an interpretation of the symptoms. Kernberg defines both an interpersonal approach as well as a more structural, ego-psychology approach as being the two main streams of psychoanalytic treatment. He continues by showing how the increasing dialogue between the two groups has led to changes in both treatment and how the professional regards his/her place in the patient''s life and their well-being, and how theory has learned from and been redrawn by this dialogue.
Kernberg draws from many sources to examine the history of the development of both the structuralist and interpersonal approaches and applies them to how modern psychoanalysis has changed in both theory and practice from its roots to a more creative endeavor which is more of a partnership and collaboration than it is a treatment at least in a traditional sense.