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Friedman, R.C. Downey, e.I. Alfonso, C.A. (2019). Editorial. Psychodyn. Psych., 47(1):1-2.
    

(2019). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 47(1):1-2

Editorial

Richard C. Friedman, ennifer I. Downey and César A. Alfonso

This issue of Psychodynamic Psychiatry begins with a reprint of the Foreword to our recently published book, Advances in Psychodynamic Psychiatry (Alfonso, Friedman, & Downey, 2018). The book, edited by the editors of the journal, consists of selected articles published in Psychodynamic Psychiatry to date.

Psychodynamic psychiatry (the Journal and the field as a whole) must rest on a scientifically validated empirical base as much as possible. This issue is relevant for the construction of the identities of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals as well. Modern psychodynamically oriented clinicians should not consider themselves “Jungians” or “Freudians” or “Lacanians,” for example, but rather behavioral health professionals committed to helping people with psychiatric disorders as best as possible. Ours is the only psychiatric journal entirely devoted to psychodynamic issues. In our book, Advances in Psychodynamic Psychiatry (2018), we tried to avoid guild concerns. Key psychoanalytic ideas stand on their own and are not viewed as being part of the intellectual domain of professional psychoanalysts but rather are considered common to all the mental health professions. These ideas are fundamentally important for understanding the narratives that influence the motivation of all psychiatric patients. They are trans-diagnostic. A central question that frames all publications in Psychodynamic Psychiatry is, “What is the evidence that supports inferences?”

In the not-so-distant past, organized psychoanalysis gave disproportionate weight to the judgments and opinions of senior psychoanalysts. The validity of key psychoanalytic ideas was not emphasized. This led the field toward erroneous beliefs about sexual pathology; particularly the belief that homosexuality was inherently pathological. After considerable organizational conflict this belief was, fortunately, discarded and with it simplistic ideas about the universality and effects of the positive Oedipus complex in human development. This belief change had long-ranging consequences for developing adequate models of sexual orientation and the optimal psychological treatment of patients who were not exclusively heterosexual and who suffered from diverse psychopathological disorders.

[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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