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Thomä, H. Kächele, H. (1975). Problems of Metascience and Methodology in Clinical Psychoanalytic Research. Ann. Psychoanal., 3:49-119.

(1975). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 3:49-119

Problems of Metascience and Methodology in Clinical Psychoanalytic Research

H. Thomä, M.D. and H. Kächele, M.D.

A voluminous literature about the ranking of psychoanalysis among the sciences has sprung up in recent years. The planning and carrying out of our research projects necessitated the clarification of our own ideas about the scientific status of psychoanalysis by discussing essential controversies. Here was want to take up primarily those points of view that influence methods of clinical research. The integration of psychoanalysis with the nomothetical or ideographic sciences, with natural, social, behavioral sciences, or the arts, must be considered an unimportant academic question, unless this coordination results in relevant consequences for research and practice.

There are many reasons for the fact that psychoanalysis has become a focal point for discussion. We would like to specify some of these. Psychoanalysis shares its theoretical problems with all the other sciences that examine human behavior and its psychological and social motivations in the field of human relations. It was Freud who discovered the role of the participant-observer and its far-reaching influence on the observational situation.

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