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Kappelle, W. (1996). How Useful Is Selection?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:1213-1232.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:1213-1232

How Useful Is Selection?

Willem Kappelle

The author begins by reviewing the literature on the selection of applicants for psychoanalytic training. Having himself been active in a training role in the Dutch Society for many years, he then discusses that society's selection approach and compares it with the literature reports, which he in many cases finds inconclusive and incomplete, partly because relevant information is often unavailable for reasons of discretion. A major problem is stated to be the difficulty of defining the concept of a good psychoanalyst. Although most of the published material concentrates on the qualities of the applicant, it is pointed out that the selectors and the manner of their interaction with the applicant are also important. The centrepiece of the paper is a detailed report on the results of a survey by the author of the methods used by the Dutch Society's selectors over a seventeen-year period, in which the approaches of selectors of different ages and backgrounds and their responses to different types of applicants are compared by statistical techniques. Selection methods proved to be largely intuitive and the survey respondents had difficulty in defining the criteria they used. For all the imponderables, the author notes that no training committee is prepared to abandon selection—usually by interview—even if it can ultimately do no more than assess an applicant's analysability and life accomplishments.

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