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Paniagua, C. (1995). Common Ground, Uncommon Methods. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:357-371.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:357-371

Common Ground, Uncommon Methods

Cecilio Paniagua

The author, an American-trained psychoanalyst, currently a member of a theoretically heterogeneous European psychoanalytic society, reflects on his experiences with the different types of analysis practised in continental Europe and in the United States. Sharing some ‘common ground’ assumptions does not mean that analysts worldwide use comparable clinical methodology. Practitioners from disparate schools differ not only in their metatheoretical frameworks, but also in their theories of technique. Differences in clinical methods affect the scientific quality of clinical researches and, probably, influence therapeutic outcome. The lack of commonality in psychoanalytic methods often seems related to the disparate uses of logical fallacies in clinical reasoning; this, in turn, may be a consequence of socio-historical determinants. Several discussions of one clinical presentation are supplied as an illustration. It is suggested that efforts be made to further examine the relative validity of disparate inference-making models, and the practical results of applying different clinical methods.

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