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Gottschalk, L.A. Whitman, R.M. (1962). Some Typical Complications Mobilized by the Psycho-Analytic Procedure. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:142-150.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:142-150

Some Typical Complications Mobilized by the Psycho-Analytic Procedure

Louis A. Gottschalk and Roy M. Whitman

The purpose of this paper is to make a systematic inquiry into features which are basic to the psycho-analytic procedure and yet sometimes lead to evanescent, occasionally persisting complications because of the very nature of this procedure. It is our experience that psycho-analytic therapy sets up a situation which is necessary for its own success but which may have unavoidable non-therapeutic results. Just as other therapeutic agents or procedures have undesirable side-effects or iatrogenic complications, so may the psycho-analytic procedure as a therapeutic tool have unwanted by-products.

First of all, our impression is that the unique and unfamiliar procedures of psycho-analysis sometimes interfere with the patient's progress towards analytic goals by producing stresses in the patient's extra-analytic relationships. And secondly, the procedures may repeat, during the analytic period, handicapping or traumatizing experiences to which the patient reacts in such a way that the analyst may not be able to help the patient discriminate the analytic reality from the original genetic, traumatic experiences.

Obviously, there are many patients whose emotional conflicts are so minor or major or whose life situations are such that they are not suitable patients for psycho-analytic treatment. An attempt to apply psycho-analytic therapy to the problems of these patients might quite readily lead to complications. We are referring, however, to those patients who would be considered suitable for psycho-analysis by most practising psycho-analysts.

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