Neutrality revisited: On the value of being neutral within an empathic atmosphere

Charles J. Gelso, Katri Kanninen

Tutkimustuotos: LehtiartikkeliArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

11 Sitaatiot (Scopus)


Using psychoanalysis as a starting point, we explore the value of therapeutic neutrality in psychotherapies that seek to foster self-understanding, experiencing, and insight. Contrary to much of the current zeitgeist, therapist neutrality is posited to be a key element of effective psychotherapy in such approaches. We suggest 5 meanings of effective therapeutic neutrality: The therapist (a) takes, at least in part, an observer position in the relationship; (b) refrains from taking sides in the patient’s inner struggles; (c) also does not take sides in the patient’s relational struggles; (d) refrains from manipulating the patient into emotional expression; and (e) follows some guide- lines about when to directly gratify the patient’s dependency and affectional needs/demands. Rules of thumb are presented about the conditions under which direct gratification is called for. However, as a bottom line, if neutrality is to be an effective stance in any psychotherapy, it must be carried out in the context of empathy, caring, and affirmation.
AlkuperäiskieliEi tiedossa
JulkaisuJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 2017
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Julkaistu artikkeli, soviteltu


  • neutrality