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Foulkes, S.H. (1954). Group-Analytic Observation as Indicator for Psycho-Analytic Treatment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 35:263-266.

(1954). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 35:263-266

Group-Analytic Observation as Indicator for Psycho-Analytic Treatment

S. H. Foulkes

Before we can decide on the appropriate use of a method, we should have a clear idea of its mode of operation. An investigation into the essential factors which operate in psycho-analytic treatment was the theme of a symposium at the Marienbad Congress in 1936. The views presented then were divergent ones, even in respect of some elementary principles. In the intervening years matters have become more complex. No longer can we assume with any degree of certainty that any two psycho-analysts share their ideas of the basic characteristics of the situation in which they operate—the psycho-analytic situation—of the rôle they are playing in this process, or the precise nature of their technical interventions. Even basic concepts such as transference or counter-transference vary widely in their connotation. Psycho-analysts differ greatly in the importance they attach to interpretations, and the nature and significance they ascribe to them. Whether all this is a good or a bad sign, it is certain that it does not bring us nearer to a scientific approach, so that we cannot easily refute investigations from other quarters claiming to show that differences which may be found in their results are not due to the therapists' adherence to any particular school (Freudian, Jungian, etc.), but rather to the personality and the experience of the therapist concerned. Under these circumstances we cannot wonder that so little is known about the more precise indication position for psycho-analytic treatment.

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