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Werbart, A. (2009). Minding the gap between clinical practice and empirical research in psychoanalysis From Psychoanalytic Narrative to Empirical Single Case Research: Implications for Psychoanalytic Practice by Horst Kächele, Joseph Schachter, Helmut Thomä Routledge, New York, NY, 2009; 470 pp; Amazon $40.42 (Karnak £29.99). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(6):1459-1466.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(6):1459-1466

Minding the gap between clinical practice and empirical research in psychoanalysis From Psychoanalytic Narrative to Empirical Single Case Research: Implications for Psychoanalytic Practice by Horst Kächele, Joseph Schachter, Helmut Thomä Routledge, New York, NY, 2009; 470 pp; Amazon $40.42 (Karnak £29.99)

Review by:
Andrzej Werbart

Pervestigare necessere est

Psychoanalytic research papers are cited and read with less frequency than clinical papers, as demonstrated by Schachter and Luborsky (1998). A decade later this state of affairs probably remains unchanged and the authors’ conclusion still seems valid: the persistent disinterest may be based on anxious anticipations that empirical findings may undermine hard-learned analytic beliefs - which they may It is unlikely that the publication of the landmark volume by Kächele, Schachter and Thomä, summarizing a lifetime of scholarly work by some of the world's most skilful psychoanalytic researchers, will be able to bring about a change - which it should. For the future of psychoanalysis, it is a momentous issue.

The gap between clinical practice as a main source of our theoretical models and the empirical research in psychoanalysis has attracted growing attention over the last decades (cf. Canestri, 2006; Fonagy, 2003; Leuzinger-Bohleber, Dreher and Canestri, 2003; Sandler, Sandler and Davies, 2000). What is surprising is that the clash between the two cultures has taken so long to become such a central issue (Luyten, Blatt and Corveleyn, 2006).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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