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Rubovits-Seitz, P. (1995). Research in Psychoanalysis: An Historical Note. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:651-652.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:651-652

Research in Psychoanalysis: An Historical Note

Philip Rubovits-Seitz

December 30, 1994

The 1993 JAPA Supplement, Research in Psychoanalysis: Process, Development, Outcome, edited by Drs. Theodore Shapiro and Robert N. Emde, is a highly informative collection of essays and discussions on contemporary developments in empirical psychoanalytic research—developments that fulfill Freud's (1925) prediction that psychoanalytic science will survive and continue to “radiate out in many directions” (pp. 73-74).

I would like to add an historical note regarding Section I of the Supplement: Research on the Process. Teller and Dahl (1993p. 45) note that a consensus has emerged among empirical researchers in recent years regarding the importance of repetitive structures in clinical data—a conclusion consonant with Freud's concept of the compulsion to repeat (1914pp. 151-152). Teller and Dahl (1993p. 45) point out regarding Luborsky's CCRT approach, Horowitz's configurational analysis, Strupp's cyclical maladaptive patterns, Weiss and Sampson's HMF (Higher Mental Functioning hypothesis), Gill and Hoffman's PERT (Patient's Experience of the Relationship with the Therapist), and Dahl's FRAMES (Fundamental Repetitive and Maladaptive Emotion Structures) that all of these investigative methods focus on repetitive structures of one kind or another in the therapeutic process.

Yet none of the writers in this exemplary volume mentions the pioneering work of the late Thomas M. French (e.g., 1958pp. 105-117, 403-405, 411), who first demonstrated repetitive structures in the form of “Recurrent Dynamic Cycles” throughout the therapeutic process. French's contribution is all the more impressive when one considers that computer-assisted content analysis of clinical data was not available at the time of his investigations.

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