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Knapp, P.H. Levin, S. McCarter, R.H. Wermer, H. Zetzel, E. (1960). Suitability for Psychoanalysis: A Review of One Hundred Supervised Analytic Cases. Psychoanal Q., 29:459-477.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:459-477

Suitability for Psychoanalysis: A Review of One Hundred Supervised Analytic Cases

Peter H. Knapp, M.D., Sidney Levin, M.D., Robert H. McCarter, M.D., Henry Wermer, M.D. and Elizabeth Zetzel, M.D.


Patients referred for supervised psychoanalysis were studied to define the criteria that determine their suitability as analytic cases. Most of the patients came from intellectual, psychologically sophisticated segments of the population despite attempts to find them elsewhere. Grossly disturbed individuals were excluded. Other selective criteria were clinical and impressionistic. They show the further need to define positive criteria of health, particularly those that are manifest in interviews.

Nevertheless from reports of early interviews rated 'blindly' on comprehensive clinical grounds it was possible for a group of judges to select with fair success those cases who later did well, as determined after a minimum of a year of analysis.

The same study indicates that, in contrast to obsessionals, hysterical subjects had done either very well or very badly during the early phases of analysis. The study shows the need for careful evaluation of both patient and therapist, and suggests the feasibility of further predictive efforts aimed both at precise definition of variables and at maintaining a flexible clinical approach.

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