Tip: To see statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web…
PEP-Web Tip of the Day
Statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web can be reviewed at any time. Just click the “See full statistics” link located at the end of the Most Popular Journal Articles list in the PEP Section.
For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.
Hoffer, W. (1950). Three Psychological Criteria for the Termination of Treatment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 31:194-195.
(1950). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 31:194-195
Three Psychological Criteria for the Termination of Treatment
To formulate criteria for the termination of treatment is far from an easy task. Simplification has to be avoided, in spite of the demands of beginners. What has been said about termination in the past may be disappointing, but cannot be disregarded. One cannot learn from the mistakes of others if one overlooks them. It needs a collective effort, for which this generation of psycho-analysts probably is not yet prepared, and the awareness that we are not out for dicta but in search of the principles which determine our actions.
About ten years ago the members of this Society were asked: 'What are your criteria for termination? symptomatic, psycho-sexual, social? are your criteria mostly intuitive?' One-third, that is eight out of twenty-four psycho-analysts failed to answer the question at all, and a majority admitted that their criteria were essentially intuitive (Glover and Brierley, 1940, p. 111).
What do I think are the criteria for the termination of treatment? My answer would be this:
In comparison with other psychotherapeutic methods, psycho-analysis is not characterized by a certain number of sessions per week, or by the duration over a number of years, or by the arrangements in the consulting room, but by the fact that it initiates, lends aid to and utilizes certain mental processes, which were for the first time studied and described by Freud.
These mental processes take effect during the whole of the analytic procedure and play their part when termination is in the analyst's mind.
[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]