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April 1964

Selection of Patients for Definitive Forms of Psychotherapy

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