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Busch, F.N. (2015). Discussion: Psychoanalytic Research: Progress and Questions. Psychoanal. Inq., 35S(Supplement):196-203.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35S(Supplement):196-203


Discussion: Psychoanalytic Research: Progress and Questions

Fredric N. Busch, M.D.

A preceding issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry that appeared in 2003, “Psychoanalytic research: Current issues and controversies,” addressed some of the struggles and questions involved in conducting psychoanalytic research (Milrod and Busch, 2003a, 2003b) and included a discussion by Wallerstein (2003) entitled, “Psychoanalytic research: Coming of age.” In the subsequent decade, psychoanalysts have gone beyond coming of age, as it is clear that there is a wide range of psychoanalytic research efforts underway both in the United States and abroad. At the same time, the degree of antagonism among many psychoanalysts toward research remains strong, and the marginalizing of psychoanalysis continues apace in psychiatry and psychology training programs, as well as in the university setting.

Huprich and Bornstein have provided a variety of articles that debate and identify the value of psychoanalytic research and focus on efforts to advance psychoanalytic research and psychoanalysis. This issue alludes to four broad questions: What is causing the resistance to psychoanalysis more generally? What can one do to address this resistance and foster interest in psychoanalytic ideas? What is causing the resistance to psychoanalytic research within the psychoanalytic community? What can one do to address this resistance to research? The lack of demonstrated efficacy of psychoanalytic ideas and approaches is viewed as a significant component of the current marginalization of psychoanalytic ideas and approaches.

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