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Clinical Research in Psychoanalysis: Theoretical Basis and Experiences through Working Parties | The IPA Psychoanalytic Ideas and Applications Series
Marina Altmann de Litvan (Edt)
IPA & Routledge / Softcover / 2021-07-01 / 036776038X
reg price: $52.95 our price: $ 50.30 (may be subject to change)
416 pages
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This book offers different theoretical approaches about what clinical research is.

Clinical Research in Psychoanalysis is a unique contribution to the attempts to bridge the gap between clinicians and researchers and to create a culture of a more rigorous and systematic inquiry. It provides an innovative experience because for the first time different methods and perspectives were used to analyse one same clinical material. This was done by analysts from different working parties of the International Psychoanalytical Association, from a range of different schools of psychoanalytic thought. This allows the reader to have a vision of the different methods that are currently being used by some working parties of the IPA and to learn about the strengths of each one for certain situations and types of research. This book revaluates clinical research, intending to make links between the analysts working through the working parties and the different ways of thinking in clinical research. By covering key topics, such as how working parties can facilitate different types of research; the place of metaphor in psychoanalytic research and practice; and the future for psychoanalytic research, this text is a fruitful dialogue between different theoretical conceptions and between clinicians and researchers, that will expand our perspectives on the evidence we find in clinical material and will broaden our views on the patient.

This book offers a unique and invaluable experience to psychologists and psychoanalysts who are trying to improve their clinical practice and bring research evidence into their psychoanalytic practice. It is an invaluable contribution to psychoanalytic training of candidates, teachers, and students.


"This book brings together the sharpest minds in the psychoanalytic field of today and draws attention to an urgent question within psychoanalysis – how to improve standards of observation, conceptualization and communication of clinical material. The authors engage in in-depth discussions of the scientific status of psychoanalytic knowledge, moving from clinical inquiry to clinical research. A distinguishing feature of the book is the way it highlights how the establishment of various Clinical Working Parties has opened the analytic room and stimulated a productive dialogue between colleagues with different theoretical perspectives in which "arguments of authority" are replaced by a commitment to distinguish between observation and interpretation. This book is a unique contribution to the attempts to bridge the gap between clinicians and researchers, and to create a culture of scientific inquiry. It is of interest for a wide audience, university students, psychoanalytic candidates as well as teachers and practicing psychoanalysts." - Dr. Siri Erika Gullestad, PhD Psychoanalyst. Directed the Department of Psychology and the Clinic for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the University of Oslo.

"It is absolutely fascinating what the systematic study of clinicians’ thinking can teach us about patients and about the ways we can work with them most effectively. This book provides an excellent summary of the way in which conceptualisations and technique about patient groups and clinical situations can be refined and used to advance the science of clinical psychoanalysis.

The broad international perspectives will at the same time inform us about diversity of clinical approaches and, far more important, move towards generating a common language in what is now an unnecessarily fragmented field. This is a major contribution to a rapidly developing and crucial field in our discipline." - Prof. Peter Fonagy, Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

"For more than 100 years psychoanalysis has been seeking its place between the natural sciences and hermeneutics, denounced by some as mechanistic and by others as unscientific. This amazing book brings together a myriad of brilliant minds to shed light on this false choice, where precisely psychoanalysis is played out in its legitimacy as a discipline of the mind, in clinical research. The conversations it brings together have an additional merit: its editors come from the Southern Hemisphere. Those of us who work in these southern confines look at the school disputes being debated in the North with a certain skepticism, which allows us to look at the different perspectives from an advantageous point of view that facilitates integration. This is a book that every psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst who is passionate about borderline questions should study. Whoever reads it will not be disappointed." - Prof. Juan Pablo Jiménez, Director of the Chilean Millennium Institute for Research on Depression and Personality, MIDAP.

Table of Contents

Part I:

The Mysterious Leap from Clinical Practice to Clinical Research

Liana Pinto Chaves

What Is Clinical Research in Psychoanalysis? Some Comments on Its Scientific Background

Anna Ursula Dreher


Judy Kantrowitz

Part II:

Researching Subjectivity: Single-Case Studies and Psychoanalytic Knowledge

Robert Douglas Hinshelwood


Charles Hanly

Moving from Clinical Inquiry to Clinical Research

Ricardo Bernardi

Improving the Interface: Comments on Bernardi: Moving from Clinical Inquiry to Clinical Research

Horst Kächele

What is ‘Clinical Research’? Historical, Epistemological, and Methodological Remarks on the Relevance of Clinical Research in Times of Theoretical and Scientific Pluralism

Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber

Discussion by Bradley Peterson: Scientific Investigation in Psychoanalysis

Bradley S. Peterson

Part III:

Clinical Research: The Role of Metaphors in the Analytic Process

Ana-María Rizzuto

Metaphors for the Patient’s Self as a Multiple Bridge for Clinical Research

Beatriz de León de Bernardi

Part IV Working Parties as Research Tools?

Working Parties as Clinical Research

William Glover and Bernard Reith

Opening Psychoanalytic Space in First Interviews: An Overview of the Aims and Findings of the EPF Working Party on Initiating Psychoanalysis

Bernard Reith

Is the Three-Level Model a Clinical Research Tool?

Marina Altmann de Litvan, Ricardo Bernardi, and Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick-Hanly

The Working Party on Comparative Clinical Methods (CCM) and the Investigation in Psychoanalysis

José Carlos Calich

Clinical Groups on the Specificity of Psychoanalysis Today. A New Research Method for Clinical Understanding

Ana María Chabalgoity, César Luís de Souza Brito, and Ema Ponce de León

Faimberg’s Method ‘Listening to listening’

Haydée Faimberg

Developing the Capacity for Clinical Investigation: The Working Party ‘Microscopy of the Analytic Session’

Roosevelt M.S. Cassorla, Ana Clara Duarte Gavião, and Cláudia Aparecida Carneiro

Part V:


Luisa Pérez Suquilvide

Panel: How Are Metaphors Identified and Elaborated by the Different Working Parties?

Elizabeth Lima da Rocha Barros

A Clinical Illustration on the Working Party on the Specificity of Psychoanalytic Treatment Today – Latin American Group

César Luís de Souza Brito and Ana María Chabalgoity

Metaphor Transformations in the 3-LM: A Systematic Clinical Exercise with Zoe’s Case

Andrea Rodríguez Quiroga de Pereira, Bruno Salesio, and Adela Leibovich de Duarte

A Descriptive Comparison of First Interviews Under the Light of 3-LM and Initiating Psychoanalysis

Andrea Rodríguez Quiroga de Pereira

Part VI:

The Impact of Clinical Investigation on the Analyst

Vera Regina Fonseca

The Analyst’s Perspective: Commonalities and Differences of Working Parties on a Clinical Material

Luisa Pérez Suquilvide

Clinical Psychoanalytic Research with the Working Party Method: State of the Art

Rudi Vermote

Working Groups and the Search for Clinical Evidence’

Ricardo Bernardi

Clinical Research in Working Parties Through Metaphors

Marina Altmann de Litvan

About the Editor:

Marina Altmann de Litvan, PhD, is a Child and Adolescent Psychoanalyst (IPA) and a Training and Supervising analyst of the Uruguayan Psychoanalytical Association. Chair of the Clinical Research Subcommittee and Former Chair of the Clinical Observation Committee of the IPA (2010-2017). Mary Sigourney Award 2017.

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