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Stone, L. (1954). The Widening Scope of Indications for Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:567-594.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:567-594

The Widening Scope of Indications for Psychoanalysis

Leo Stone, M.D.

The remarkable and steadfast conservatism of Freud regarding the therapeutic application of his discovery appears in several places in his writings. We may generalize briefly to the effect that Freud believed the true indications for psychoanalysis to be the transference psychoneuroses and equivalent character disturbances. While temperately hopeful for the future treatment of psychoses, the very expression, "some other plan better suited for that purpose" (10), suggests how closely linked in Freud's thinking were the psychoanalytic technique and the basically reliable ego. We know from his writings that Freud was far from rigid or static in his technical methods; however, he was apparently not much concerned with developing and systematizing new techniques, or in experimenting with remote nosological groups.

Yet it was still early in the history of psychoanalysis that Abraham (1) began to treat manic-depressive psychosis, and not too long before Simmel (14) opened a psychoanalytic sanatorium where he treated very severe neuroses, incipient psychotic conditions, and addictions. Also early came the psychoanalytic interest in character, beginning with Freud himself (9), followed by the distinguished contributions of Jones and Abraham. However, character analysis as a special technical problem was precipitated sharply into the foreground of general interest by Wilhelm Reich's brilliant and stimulating, although still controversial, book (13), (15).

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