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Schlessinger, N. Robbins, F. (1974). Assessment and Follow-Up in Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:542-567.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:542-567

Assessment and Follow-Up in Psychoanalysis

Nathan Schlessinger, M.D. and Fred Robbins, M.D.

ANY SYSTEMATIC EFFORT TO ASSESS the results of analysis, whether at termination or in a follow-up study, encounters a range of complications which readily accounts for the limited available yield in the literature. Yet, there are compelling reasons, both practical and theoretical, for persisting in such attempts. A valid and reliable method of assessment would clarify the nature and effects of the analytic process. It might similarly be useful in focusing on the nature of an impasse in an ongoing analysis, and would permit the researcher to ask questions and design projects for their solution, thereby shedding light on a host of problems in psychoanalysis. We have made such an attempt to assess the analytic process and its follow-up, and we believe the results to be useful and promising. It is our purpose here to discuss the theoretical and clinical assumptions underlying our approach, to describe our method of study, and to present a sample of the results.

The area of assessment of analysis at termination and in follow-up mobilizes in many analysts a defensive reaction about what has been achieved. Pfeffer (1959), in his follow-up studies, has observed and commented on a sensitivity about results, on the part of the treating analyst, and even a frequent tendency to underestimate the effects of prolonged analytic efforts.

Such defensiveness and sensitivity may, of course, be explained on many grounds.

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