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Schachter, J. Johan, M. (1989). Evaluation of Outcome of Psychoanalytic Treatment: Should Followup by the Analyst be Part of the Post-Termination Phase of Analytic Treatment?. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:813-822.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:813-822

Evaluation of Outcome of Psychoanalytic Treatment: Should Followup by the Analyst be Part of the Post-Termination Phase of Analytic Treatment?

Joseph Schachter, M.D. and Morton Johan, M.D.

IN HIS INTRODUCTION TO THE PANEL, Schachter explained that his interest in the topic derived largely from a pilot study of outcome in which he had participated in Pittsburgh some years before. In his interviews with one of the two former patients, his impression of the gains the patient had made and those the patient had failed to make at the time of the followup was strikingly different from that of the treating analyst at the time of termination, five years before. This difference in assessment seemed due to the unique perspective provided by the passage of time, rather than to the fact that the evaluation was made by someone other than the treating analyst. It suggested to him that followup contact by the analyst would provide the treating analyst with a more valid picture of the results of his analytic work than was possible at the time of the termination. This would facilitate the analyst learning from his experience and would improve his ability to work with subsequent patients using the model of Freud in his discussion of the treatment of Dora. Schachter referred to a former panel on Reanalysis (this Journal, 33:187–200) which tended to confirm Freud's impressions in Analysis Terminable and Interminable, that all issues could not be accomplished in the first analysis because certain life events (i.e., pregnancy) had not brought them into the arena of the analytic consultation room. Schachter reviewed the sparse literature on post-termination followup, citing a 1950 report in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. In that paper, four analysts advocated post-termination followup.

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