Psychologist at Large: An Autobiography and Selected Essays

By Edwin G. Boring | Go to book overview

Was This Analysis a Success?

Hanns Sachs

This is my analyst's reply to my comment on his analysis of me. Sachs was handicapped, of course, because he was bound by Hippocratic ethics not to discuss in detail what he knew in confidence from his analysand. Later Franz Alexander undertook to strengthen the case for psychoanalysis by commenting on this limitation of Sachs's comment (Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1940, vol. 35, 305-323). Alexander was undoubtedly thinking that Sachs had not been free to go into "the one objective fact" that I had thought was not crucial but which he had thought "amounted to a potential trauma" which might without the analysis have produced a breakdown, perhaps a depression.

Every analyst of sufficient experience has observed the therapeutic effect of psychoanalysis, but it remains still an open question in how many cases anything approaching a full cure can be achieved and how the result compares with the necessary sacrifice of time, exertion, and money. Any attempt to clarify these problems deserves an analyst's most intense cooperation. I shall, therefore, try to describe what I consider to be the fundamentals of the problem and point out its difficulties. The discussion of Professor Boring's paper will serve as an excellent approach to the general viewpoint.

____________________
Reprinted with permission from the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1940, vol. 35, 11-16.

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