Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To access to IJP Open with a PEP-Web subscription…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Having a PEP-Web subscription grants you access to IJP Open. This new feature allows you to access and review some articles of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis before their publication. The free subscription to IJP Open is required, and you can access it by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Deutsch, H. (1959). Psychoanalytic Therapy in the Light of Follow-Up. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 7:445-458.

(1959). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7:445-458

Psychoanalytic Therapy in the Light of Follow-Up

Helene Deutsch, M.D.

In the course of years we have learned a lot about the theoretical aspects of psychoanalytic therapy. This knowledge should enable us in each individual case to judge when an analysis is finished, and whether the therapeutic result is in agreement with our theoretical demands. Certain doubts had always accompanied our overvaluation of analytic therapy, but not until Freud's "Analysis Terminable and Interminable" was published (1937) were we able to set definite criteria regarding the limitations of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method.

There are two ways in which to evaluate the therapeutic successes in analysis: (i) the statistical reports as submitted by Alexander (1), Knight (7), Jones (6) and others, and (ii) individual observation. In my efforts to arrive at statistical data on the basis of my personal experience with 250 to 300 analyzed patients plus a great number of control cases, I came to the conclusion that it is very difficult to speak of therapeutic results in general terms. From what point of view should the analyst classify his success? By the loss of the symptom? By the ability to adapt to reality? Or by the degree of harmony achieved in the patient's personality (ego)?

I consider the method of individual observation the more reliable of the two. The analytic literature is rich in case histories, in reports of failures and successes and in theoretical interpretations. There is, however, an evident lack of information about the postanalytic psychic state of patients whose treatment has been successfully terminated. At this point the method of direct observation is no longer available. We have learned certain general facts, such as that the patient will for a time continue the analytic process by self-analysis, and that the remnants of incompletely resolved transference may reappear and cause difficulties, etc.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.