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Kächele, H. Thomä, H. (1993). Psychoanalytic Process Research: Methods And Achievements. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41S(Supplement):109-129.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41S(Supplement):109-129

Psychoanalytic Process Research: Methods And Achievements

Horst Kächele, M.D. and Helmut Thomä, M.D.

This paper describes the basic achievements of many years of systematic research on the psychoanalytic process. The basic aims of this research are first dealt with in terms of their embeddedness in the intensive discussions of the methodology of clinical and empirical validation of psychoanalytic clinical propositions. From then on, the four-level strategy of the Ulm project on psychoanalytic process research is unfolded. This strategy implies starting from extensive clinical case formulations and moving to systematic time-sampled descriptions of selected segments in treatments. From there on, a further refined level of observation consists in the application of rating scales for a diversity of clinical concepts. The introduction of technologically sophisticated computer-based analysis of the various texts opens up a wide array of perspectives for study of the psychoanalytic process, which are illustrated.

I. Psychoanalytic Rationale of the Ulm Research Program

WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A long-standing endeavor to study the "homeland" of psychoanalysis, i.e., the "psychoanalytic situation." We are convinced that only the careful investigation of the exchange between patient and psychoanalyst can be used to probe essential aspects of psychoanalytic theory and to develop an empirically based theory of the process.

Interpretation was the topic of our first attempts to study aspects of the process clinically.

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