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Pfeffer, A.Z. (1959). A Procedure for Evaluating the Results of Psychoanalysis—A Preliminary Report. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 7:418-444.

(1959). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7:418-444

A Procedure for Evaluating the Results of Psychoanalysis—A Preliminary Report

Arnold Z. Pfeffer, M.D.

Evaluation of the results of psychoanalysis is a topic with important implications for theory and practice. This topic, however, has never been explored adequately. A central reason for this fact is that a proper methodology for this purpose has not yet been devised (1), (3), (6), (7), (8), (9). The goal of the present study was to develop such a methodology. Preliminary consideration of various possible approaches led to the conviction that analytic results would be best studied with analytic techniques and with evaluations made within the framework of usual analytic understanding. From this point of view, a theoretically ideal procedure would be the analysis of terminated patients with emphasis on analytic and therapeutic changes. An actual situation close to this ideal is reanalysis. This too, however, is a special and limited situation. With such a plan, evaluations would be confined to only those patients who are motivated to seek further treatment (2).

In the search for a practical plan, it was decided that the procedure should be a follow-up study. However, there remained many questions such as: Should the patient be seen in one or several interviews? Were the interviews to be done by the treating analyst or another analyst? Would the patient speak freely with

The Oberndorf Fund provided financial assistance to the Treatment Center of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute for this study.

The author wishes to express his appreciation to the following analysts who contributed to this project in time and interest in the study of their cases; Drs. Leon L. Altman, Margaret E. Fries, Martin J. Gerson, Bertram J. Gosliner, Melvin H. Hurwitz, William P. Kapuler, Milton E. Jucovy, Leo S. Loomie, Herbert F. Waldhorn, and Herbert Wieder.

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