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Valenstein, A.F. (1968). Indications and Contraindications for Psychoanalytic Treatment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:265-265.

(1968). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49:265-265

Indications and Contraindications for Psychoanalytic Treatment

Arthur F. Valenstein

After hearing the excellent papers by Zetzel and Kuiper it seems that our symposium topic "Indications and Contraindications for Psychoanalysis," really encompassing the issue of analysability, has been approached on two different but related levels of discourse.

Kuiper has called our attention to the fact that criteria for analysability are far from objective, and are not agreed upon, in consequence of the widened scope of psychoanalysis. A good many analysts find it appropriate to apply the analytic method per se to borderline or even frankly psychotic conditions; while others would disagree that analysis in such cases is classical or that it could really be psychoanalysis, per se. And Kuiper feels that in consequence of this dilution of analysis, we might lose our main instrument, our basic psychoanalytic method, with its systematic standardization by means of which it gains reliability as a scientific investigatory procedure. Furthermore, we might find, without being aware, that we have lost this method which is so specific for the treatment of the transference neurosis, not for the "so-called good case for analysis", as Zetzel puts it, but for the really appropriate case in which the "standard" systematic psychoanalytic procedure is really appropriate.

The danger, of which there is substantial evidence, is that students are then not properly trained in psychoanalysis, and fail adequately to distinguish one type of illness from another, much less to become really competent in applying analysis when the conditions are right for it.

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