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Wolfson, A. (1988). Empirical Studies of Psychoanalytic Theories, Volume 2: Edited by Joseph Masling. New Jersey: The Analytic Press. 1986. Pp. 266.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 15:401-404.

(1988). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 15:401-404

Empirical Studies of Psychoanalytic Theories, Volume 2: Edited by Joseph Masling. New Jersey: The Analytic Press. 1986. Pp. 266.

Review by:
Abby Wolfson

Editor Joseph Masling's introduction to the second volume of Empirical Studies of Psychoanalytic Theories is testimony to the need for experimental study of both psychoanalytic propositions and process. Masling argues that we must provide confirmatory scientific data for two major reasons. First, these results are crucial to the liveliness of our clinical and theoretical debates. Secondly, it is our responsibility to respond to those outside the field who require such data about our clinical convictions. There are seven chapters in the book all of which will be of interest to various groups of psychoanalytic thinkers. However, two of these chapters (Chapters 1 and 2) represent such significant advances in the research arena that they most probably will be of importance to almost all psychoanalytic theorists and researchers. I will describe each in some detail.

Masling notes that amongst the strongest criticisms regarding the lack of scientific investigation of psychoanalytic process have been those directed at the absence of raw data from the analytic session. (The work of a few American researchers, names such as Dahl, Gill and Hoffman, are important exceptions.) Obviously, the sheer volume of this material has provided a formidable obstacle in the undertaking of meaningful research.

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