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Myers, W.A. Solomon, M. (1989). Dream Frequency and Treatment Outcome in Psychoanalysis and in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:1123-1124.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:1123-1124

Dream Frequency and Treatment Outcome in Psychoanalysis and in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Wayne A. Myers, M.D. and Murray Solomon, M.S.

July 18, 1988

As a followup to our earlier study (Myers and Solomon, 1989) on dream frequency in 25 psychoanalytic and 25 psychoanalytic psychotherapy patients, sensitivity and specificity analyses of the data were performed. Sensitivity is defined here as the probability of accurately predicting a good treatment outcome, while specificity refers to the probability of accurately predicting a poor or fair treatment outcome (see Mausner and Bahn, 1974).

We plotted the dream frequency levels (here defined as the percentage of sessions with at least one dream per session) against the sensitivity and specificity curves for the first 25, 50, 75, and 100 sessions for each of the 25 analytic and 25 analytic psychotherapy patients described in the original study. We chose these incremental cutoff points in order to see if there were any obvious differences between the findings at the varying points, thereby enabling us to say that outcome predictions based on dream frequencies for different numbers of sessions were either different or the same.

In the analytic patient group, the intersection of the specificity and sensitivity curves was at a point where we could predict a good and bad treatment outcome (by the criteria described in the earlier study) with 75% of accuracy, when there was at least one dream per session in 25% of the sessions (dream frequency of 25%). This was constant within the 25 session increments, thus allowing us to say that a dream frequency level of 6% at the end of 25 sessions was as good a predictor of outcome as one of 25% at the end of 100 sessions.

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