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Galatzer-Levy, R. (1997). Psychoanalytic Research: An Investment In The Future. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:9-12.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:9-12

Psychoanalytic Research: An Investment In The Future

Robert Galatzer-Levy

Today, as never before, ideas flow back and forth between the analyst's consulting room and the researcher's “laboratory.” As researchers' questions grow richer, deeper, and sharper, thoughtful clinicians rethink their practice in light of new findings. As clinical thinking focuses more on actual analytic events, the translation of clinical experience and issues into research becomes easier. This issue of JAPA amply illustrates the growing climate of relevant new research, and the reciprocal influence between this research and clinical practice. Five papers and three book reviews bridge the world of research and the clinical world.

At times, psychoanalytic research and clinical psychoanalysis have seemed separate domains with little relevance to one another. Clinicians have viewed research as an esoteric accumulation of quantitative data with little meaning; researchers have regarded clinical ideas as vague formulations impervious to empirical investigation. Fortunately such polarization, which misleads and obstructs the advance of our field, is increasingly rare. The clinical/research dichotomy is misguided. The eight contributions in this issue are excellent examples of how psychoanalytic practice and research enrich and inform each other.

Three contributions address aspects of the clinician-patient relationship. Consider the array of topics—how analysts experience and report change in themselves from doing analytic work; how the situation of control cases constrains analytic candidates; how therapists' nonverbal behaviors are related to clinical process. Each topic is important and problematic for clinical work. New kinds of data are used in each study, including written surveys, telephone interviews, and videotapes.

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