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Firestein, S.K. (1969). Problems of Termination in the Analysis of Adults. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 17:222-237.

(1969). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 17:222-237

Problems of Termination in the Analysis of Adults

Stephen K. Firestein, M.D.

In his introduction to the Panel Samuel A. Guttman reminded the audience that the panels of the meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association have continuously maintained an important and popular role. During the two decades in which panels on various subjects have been conducted they have varied somewhat in their format between largely prepared presentations, at one extreme, and briefer papers with spontaneous and lively interchange among the panelists, and increased audience participation, at the other.

Guttman highlighted the fact that our most creative and experienced colleagues in the course of time tend gradually and naturally to limit the degree of their active participation in our meetings. Impressed with the fact that psychoanalysis is an area of endeavor demanding human qualities acquired only through many years of living, Guttman sought a way to permit us to learn as much as possible from these most experienced colleagues. So many items of valuable clinical experience never attain publication in the literature.

Out of conversations with Peter Neubauer, Guttman developed an idea which was proposed to the Program Committee: an investigative commission, a group of persons invited to perform certain specific tasks.

In the context of this Panel a number of psychoanalysts from different geographical areas were invited to participate by arranging to meet locally with some of their senior psychoanalytic colleagues. The task focused upon was to make inquiry regarding problems of termination in the analysis of adults, with special attention to two specific questions:

1. What is the relationship of the patient (candidate and other analysands) to the analyst after the analysis is terminated?


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