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Kelman, N. (1954). Goals of Analytic Therapy: A Personal Viewpoint. Am. J. Psychoanal., 14(1):105-114.

(1954). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 14(1):105-114

Goals of Analytic Therapy: A Personal Viewpoint

Norman Kelman, M.A.

An Attempt was made in a recent course1 to discuss healthy and neurotic alternatives Man creates. It was found by the participants that the presentation and discussion of the pathological material was far more abundant and well defined than that which considered the healthy alternatives.

This paper is an attempt to state more clearly the goals of psychoanalytic therapy, those healthy alternatives we are out for in our treatment of patients. This is particularly important since assumptions, goals and methods are intimately related. It is often stated that having preconceived goals encourages the analyst to mold his patient and thus create a Pygmalion-like relationship. However, if goals are not contradictory and contain the notion of freedom and individuality, this is not likely.

Of greater importance is the fact that we do operate with assumptions, whether we are aware of them or not. Contained in the seeming clarity of our descriptions of pathology there are standards against which we are measuring. In analysis, when we speak of blind spots, or the analyst's neurotic remnants affecting therapy, we are speaking of unconscious assumptions of values. Thus, the analyst who has difficulties in human relations may overvalue independence and support those trends in a person which isolate him still further from people, although in the sincere belief that he is moving toward greater self-reliance.

Starting with the fact that we have a preconceived point of view, it is then our responsibility to be aware of this and to question its inner consistency and its relation to our methods.

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