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Kuiper, P.C. (1968). Indications and Contraindications for Psychoanalytic Treatment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:261-264.

(1968). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49:261-264

Indications and Contraindications for Psychoanalytic Treatment

P. C. Kuiper

It is not possible, at this time, to present a summary of the pertinent literature and I do not suppose that you expect this from me. In this way I feel free to give my views which are the result of a study of the scientific literature as well as, of course, my personal experiences with my own analytic cases, with the analyses of candidates and with the supervision of candidates. We may assume that the indications for psychoanalytic treatment result from an evaluation of the case, the symptoms, the type of character, and so on. When we have the courage to be honest with ourselves we can admit that our criteria for recommending treatment are far from objective and do depend, in part, on our subjective attitude.

The first thing I want to discuss is the tendency to widen the scope of analysis too much. My main thesis will be a plea not only for more exacting indications but also for "narrowing the scope of psychoanalysis," a variation on the title of an exceptionally fine article by Stone (1954). The tendency to widen the indications stems from several motives. One of them is our enthusiasm for psychoanalysis. After our disappointment with organic and phenomenological psychiatry, we discovered that psychoanalysis gives real insight into the inner life of our fellow men. A second motive for excessive widening of the indications for psychoanalysis is the fact that we have expended so much energy in developing a reasonable technique that we consequently want to apply this technique.

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