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Fleming, J. (1967). Psychoanalysts in Training. Selection and Evaluation: By Henriette R. Klein, M.D. New York: Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1966. 131 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 36:435-436.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:435-436

Psychoanalysts in Training. Selection and Evaluation: By Henriette R. Klein, M.D. New York: Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1966. 131 pp.

Review by:
Joan Fleming

This product of a twenty-year study of psychoanalytic students at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Clinic is an instructive document for psychoanalytic educators. It represents a persistent effort to define and measure the characteristics of the outstanding student that differentiates him from rejected applicants and those accepted candidates who failed to meet the requirements for graduation.

Dr. Klein shows the significance of the problem for psychoanalytic education and reviews the scanty literature on the subject. Throughout her text she discusses the difficulties met by the investigators in explicitly formulating criteria for reliable prediction at the time of selection and for validating those predictions.

This research is a study of eighty-two accepted candidates admitted over a five-year period, compared to a number of criteria that were assumed to measure success in achieving psychoanalytic competence. These criteria comprised evaluations by twenty-two faculty members, the student's supervisors, and his training analyst, made retrospectively after completion of training. Other measures included the length of time required to complete training, grades in theoretical and clinical courses, and assessment of the student's therapeutic results with patients and later of his career. Ratings on these criteria were correlated with a number of predictive measures such as letters of recommendation, psychological tests, autobiographies, and statements of three selection interviewers.

Of special interest to analysts involved in the selection process is the study of the group of thirteen failures and the sixty per cent of applicants rejected. From the five-year total, one hundred thirty-seven rejected applicants were followed up by questionnaire and interview. Fifty-eight had received training elsewhere (twenty-nine in institutes approved by the American Psychoanalytic Association). Only four failed to graduate. Of those rejected who reapplied to Columbia, fifty per cent were accepted but did not make good records.

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