Recognition of the need for empirical research and interest in its findings are growing in psychoanalysis. Many psychoanalysts now acknowledge that research is imperative to try to deal with the factors propelling the diminution in status and prestige of the discipline, as well as the number of patients in intensive psychoanalytic treatment. In addition, there is increased pressure to expose and acquaint candidates with analytic research in the course of their education.
From Psychoanalytic Narrative to Empirical Single Case Research revivifies the experimental potential of psychoanalysis by focusing a number of structured research methods on a single case study. Drs. Kächele, Schachter, and Thomä, in tandem with the Ulm Psychoanalytic Process Research Study Group, bring their formidable tools and knowledge to bear on Amalia X, a former patient of Dr. Thomä’s, whose case history is well-documented, preserved and available for formal empirical study. After providing an intensive review of the problematic aspects of clinical psychoanalytic research and an exegesis on the use of the case study itself, the specific case history of Amalia X, which dominates and centers the remainder of the book, is thoroughly examined. The following two chapters – utilizing clinical and linguistic models, respectively – deconstruct Amalia’s psychopathology along a variety of methodological axes in an effort not only to uncover the roots of her presenting symptoms, but also to reify and validate the strange bedfellows of psychoanalysis and empiricism in general. The book would be incomplete, however, without its final chapter, which provides suggestions and insights into the clinical applications and implications of their combined research.
About the Author
Horst Kächele, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Psychotherapy and Chair of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Ulm University, and Training and Supervising Analyst of the German Psychoanalytic Association (DPV/IPA). He has conducted research on process and outcome in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, psychosocial aspects of bone-marrow transplantation, eating disorders, and attachment. Besides many publications in German and English, he is co-author with Helmut Thomä of the Ulm textbook on Psychoanalytic Practice, which was translated into more than ten languages. Together with Dr. Thomä, He was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize of the City of Vienna in 2002 and the Mary S. Sigourney Award in 2004.
Joseph Schachter, M.D., Ph.D., conducted neurophysiological and developmental research with newborn offspring of schizophrenic mothers when he was Director of Child Psychiatric Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Institute, and is the author and co-author of many papers. He is the author of Transference: Shibboleth or Albatross? and the editor of Transforming Lives, which uniquely included patients’ commentaries about their psychoanalytic treatment. Recent interests include the status of the psychoanalytic profession and the nature of unresolved epistemological problems of psychoanalysis. Currently retired, he is a member of the faculty of the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Clinic for Training and Research, and the William Alanson White Society.
Helmut Thomä, M.D., Ph.D., was Chair of the Department for Psychotherapy, Ulm University (1967 – 1989) and Past President of the German Psychoanalytic Association (1968-1972). He is a member and training analyst of the International Psychoanalytic Association and was the first Privatdozent for Psychoanalysis at a German university working at Mitscherlich's Psychosomatic Clinic in Heidelberg. His monograph on Anorexia Nervosa (1961) was the first German psychoanalytic monograph translated into English (1968). Together with Horst Kächele, he was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize of the City of Vienna in 2002 and the Mary S. Siguorney Award in 2004. In 2006, he was awarded a doctor honoris causa by the University of Leipzig.
Table of Contents
Wallerstein, Foreword. Psychoanalytical Therapy Process Research. Problems of Metascience and Methodology in Clinical Psychoanalytic Research. The Significance of the Case History in Clinical Psychoanalytic Research. Amalia X: The German Psychoanalytic Specimen Case. Guided Clinical Judgments. Linguistic Studies. A Summary and Implications of Research for Clinical Practice.