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Rustin, M. (2003). Research in the Consulting Room. J. Child Psychother., 29(2):137-145.

(2003). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(2):137-145

Research in the Consulting Room

Michael Rustin

Psychoanalysis, this paper argues, has since its inception practised an effective method of research based on the clinical consulting room, and this explains its success in generating new knowledge over a long period. Different sciences evolve research methods which are appropriate to their particular objects of study. The clinical research method is well adapted to the distinctive object of study of psychoanalysis—the variety of unconscious states of mind. Convergences between psychoanalytic and more conventionally scientific methods, including experimental studies, are greatly to be welcomed, but the paper nevertheless suggests that additions to psychoanalytic understanding will continue to come mainly from clinical work with children and adults.

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