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April 1964

Selection of Patients for Definitive Forms of Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center, and Director, Syracuse Psychiatric Hospital.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(4):361-369. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720220039008

The Kantian challenge: 'What can I know?' is shown to be dependent on the prior question: 'What can I ask?'

S. Langer

The selection process, as a stage preliminary to psychotherapy, may be ill-defined and last for a few minutes or it may be sharply demarcated and last for a few interviews. For acute emergencies, informationgathering and psychotherapy may be inextricably intertwined almost from the beginning. In less acute circumstances, on the other hand, information-gathering and psychotherapy can be clearly separated. For the purpose of this presentation, I shall confine my remarks to the latter type of encounter.

In discussing selection, we are immediately concerned with the question: "Selection for what?" I have specified selection for definitive forms of psychotherapy because the word psychotherapy, which refers to many basically dissimilar operations, places us in somewhat the same position as the