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Merendino, R.P. (1985). On Epistemological Functions of Clinical Reports. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 12:327-335.

(1985). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 12:327-335

On Epistemological Functions of Clinical Reports

R. P. Merendino


This present work takes its cue from Freud's statement that the clinical report is a form of communication which is scientifically appropriate for the object under examination, i.e. psychic illness ('Studies on hysteria'), and stresses the functions of the clinical report as related to psychoanalytic science. It renders public the private experience of the analytic setting, so that other analysts may share it, discuss it and theorize about it. Thus it lays the foundation for a learning process and guarantees continual reference to the original experience. As a public document it allows us to verify or confute the theories coming out of the experience described in it, and therefore built up a scientific theory. If we analyse it as we would a dream it reveals the latent contents which were not expressed at the time of the experience and therefore brings out all the possible meanings inherent in the original event of the analytic setting.

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