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Renik, O. (1994). Publication of Clinical Facts. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:1245-1250.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:1245-1250

Publication of Clinical Facts

Owen Renik


This article explores a correspondence between the conduct of clinical psychoanalysis and the publication of clinical facts in the psychoanalytic literature. At issue in both activities are the nature of psychoanalytic understanding and the way psychoanalytic understanding is communicated. An analyst intervening in the treatment situation offers an interpretation to a patient; an analyst publishing a clinical case report offers an interpretation to colleagues. How can we best judge the validity of an interpretation in either instance? How do we conceptualise the accuracy of a published clinical fact in the light of the observing analyst's irreducible subjectivity? Is disguise for the purpose of preserving confidentiality acceptable in the publication of clinical facts? These and related questions are taken up, using an illustrative clinical vignette as a basis for discussion. The publication of clinical facts drawn from systematic empirical research studies is compared with he publication of clinical facts drawn from observations made by single treating analysts.

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