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Rosenbaum, B. (1999). The rôle of psychoanalysis as theoretical system and treatment method in future psychiatry: a panel. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(2):258-263.

(1999). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 22(2):258-263

The rôle of psychoanalysis as theoretical system and treatment method in future psychiatry: a panel

Bent Rosenbaum, M.D.

Psychoanalytic concepts must of course be revised in the development of psychoanalytic research. Firstly, they must be critically related to each other. Secondly, their use in the consultation-room must be tested, verified and falsified, in the course of the psychoanalytic process (i.e., in the praxis of understanding and intervening in the transference-countertransference). Thirdly, this praxis must be reflected in the theoretical “working through”. Fourthly, psychoanalytic concepts must be related to new knowledge, e.g., in the field of neuroscience and cognitive science. An example of the former is illustrated by the space IJPA (in the year 1997-98) has given a series of papers updating the readers on the latest findings of neuroscience related to psychoanalysis. An example of the latter is the renewed interest in the concepts and functions of metaphors and new ways of describing the mind's work-function. As Rey (1994) remarks “topographic concepts such as container, landscapes, domains, areas, attractors and repellors may provide the clinician with new tools for treatment” (p. 165).

Furthermore, psychiatric concepts must be regularly renewed. Trends in modern psychiatry indicate that the traditionally-pursued epiphenomenalistic viewpoint - of which the psychiatric polythetic diagnostic system is an off-spring - does not lead to much progress. Thus, we may witness changes in future psychiatry. Ideas related to the phenomenological dimensions in psychiatry as well as ideas from a dynamic neuroscience/psychiatry (LeDoux, 1998; Kandel, 1998; Edelman, 1992) may lead to new conceptual and diagnostic understanding.

Under three headings I shall assemble my discussion of the integration of psychoanalysis and psychiatry:

(1)  The holistic aspect.

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