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Bachrach, H.M. Weber, J.J. Solomon, M. (1985). Factors Associated with the Outcome of Psychoanalysis (Clinical and Methodological Considerations): Report of the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center Research Project (Iv). Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 12:379-389.

(1985). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 12:379-389

Factors Associated with the Outcome of Psychoanalysis (Clinical and Methodological Considerations): Report of the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center Research Project (Iv)

Henry M. Bachrach, John J. Weber and Murray Solomon

This is the final report in a series of communications in this journal regarding the outcomes of psychoanalysis and factors associated with these outcomes, based upon extensive data collected on 700 cases of supervised psychoanalysis and 885 cases of supervised psychotherapy treated at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center between 1945–1972. The first communication (Weber et al., 1985a) described the demographic and family characteristics of these cases and explored trends occurring over time.

In our second communication (Weber et al., 1985b) we examined the level of therapeutic benefit achieved in psychoanalysis as compared with psychotherapy, explored distinctions between therapeutic benefit and the development of an analytic process, and studied the predictability of clinical outcomes of 295 cases of psychoanalysis and 286 cases of psychotherapy treated between 1945–1962 for which there was complete and unequivocal information regarding circumstances of termination. Using multiple criteria and frames of reference for evaluating the initial clinical characteristics of the cases and their final outcomes, our main findings were: (1) patients selected for psychoanalysis were judged to be functioning at higher levels than patients selected for psychotherapy; (2) though most patients achieved therapeutic benefit, the level of benefit achieved by psychoanalytic patients with natural terminations was substantially higher than for psychotherapy patients; (3) only forty-three per cent of patients whose analyses continued beyond the candidate's graduation were judged to have developed an analytic process; (4) both the development of an analytic process and the level of therapeutic benefit were only marginally predictable from inferences and data gathered at the point of initial evaluation; (5) length of treatment was the only factor consistently associated with the development of an analytic process and therapeutic benefit in psychoanalysis.

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