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Hoffman, L. (1984). Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 53:502-503.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:502-503

Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Leon Hoffman

DISCUSSION: Dr. Martin Willick stressed four areas: 1) more analysts should participate in such studies; 2) analysts should move away from the idea that "analyzability" is an all-or-nothing process; 3) a great deal can be learned from an analysis that is modified and leads to an excellent result; and 4) there is great need for follow-up studies of completed cases. Dr. Donald Spence questioned the meaning of finding a statistically significant relationship between prediction and outcome. He cautioned that the initial evaluation by the treating analyst may subtly affect the course of treatment as well as judgment of the outcome. He had a similar concern about the high correlation between length of treatment and positive outcome. He suggested that a "fine-grained analysis" of deviant cases (those with positive initial assessment and a negative outcome and vice versa) might lead to a better understanding of which predictors do in fact predict ultimate analyzability or nonanalyzability. Dr. Spence agreed with Drs. Erle and Goldberg's dissatisfaction with the definition of terms but felt this may be an extremely difficult problem to solve. Evaluation of the analytic process by independent sophisticated observers may lead to an understanding of some of the questions, such as the relationship between frequency of sessions per week and the depth of the analytic process. He also felt it would be useful to compare the group of 16 analysts in the study with the 17 who refused to participate, in order to determine which group is more representative of the larger community.

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