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August 1976

Therapeutic Outcome as Rated by Patients, Therapists, and Judges

Author Affiliations

From the Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kansas.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(8):957-961. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770080075007

• The views of patients, therapists, and research judges were compared as to the degree of success attained in 22 cases of long-term psychotherapy and 15 cases of psychoanalysis. Across all cases, there was a tendency for therapists to overrate their success, as compared to the other two sources; this, together with a tendency of therapists to overlook or misperceive patients' dissatisfaction with treatment outcome, suggested that the failure to recognize and deal with the patient's negative feelings was a factor in a substantial number of unsuccessful treatments. The research judges rated the psychoanalytic cases as successful with much less frequency than either patients or treating analysts; the disparity seemed partly due to differing frames of reference, but may also have relected the participants' needs to feel that their efforts had been worthwhile.

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