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Oberndorf, C.P. Greenacre, P. Kubie, L. (1948). Symposium on the Evaluation of Therapeutic Results. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 29:7-33.

(1948). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 29:7-33

Symposium on the Evaluation of Therapeutic Results

Clarence P. Oberndorf, Phillis Greenacre and Lawrence Kubie


This symposium is due to the initiative of Dr. Oberndorf, who for many years has been interested in investigating the results of psycho-analytic treatment in particular and psychotherapy in general. Some time ago he suggested that a more systematic investigation of this kind be undertaken by the Boston Institute. We felt, however, that we should start from the grass roots and discuss the methods and principles of such a research project first. This evening's discussion is only a beginning to—as I hope—a successful end.

Dr. Oberndorf will state the problem, Dr. Greenacre will discuss the problems of method and Dr. Kubie the principles and organization of such research.


I wish to congratulate the Boston Psycho-analytic Institute as being the first group to hold a symposium to investigate psycho-analytic therapy. It is particularly appropriate that it should be held in Boston for, as you may know, the first analytic treatment of any patient in the world was held in the neighbourhood of Boston in Colonial times when the little known analyst, Dr. Roger Chillingworth undertook the treatment of the Reverend Dimmesdale who was suffering from fatigue, exhaustion, loss of weight, listlessness. Dr. Chillingworth in approaching this patient found that the psychosomatic complaints, in our current terminology, were due to Dimmesdale's association with one Hester Prynne, an attractive lady who wore the scarlet 'A'. Dr. Chillingworth said: 'We must know the man before we begin to do him good.

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