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Boesky, D. (1999). Dale Boesky Responds. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(2):544.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(2):544

Dale Boesky Responds

Dale Boesky

March 15, 1999. I wish to thank Evelyne Schwaber for calling attention to her valuable contributions to the topic of validating clinical evidence. Of course, there is no lack of interest in this problem, and among a small number of our institutes there are seminars devoted to the topics Schwaber teaches in her own seminar. That is to say, a number of institutes offer seminars on psychoanalysis as science, about psychoanalytic research, or about the supporting evidence for interpretations during case presentations. Most institutes deal with the methodology of evidence only tangentially, however. At this writing the only other institute in the country that teaches a course of the type I reported is the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. In my comments I attempted to describe a seminar different from the one Schwaber leads. My idea is to reverse the emphasis in courses such as hers, which work backward from case material to discuss supporting evidence, and instead to work forward from a clinical hypothesis chosen by the candidate, with evidence adduced by the candidate. What I attempted to demonstrate as different from what Schwaber describes is this: In our seminar we reverse the usual procedure of starting with a case presentation and then discussing what evidence supports the interventions of the analyst. Instead, we ask each participant to first make an assertion and then to state the evidence used to support that assertion. This focus on the vagueness of many psychoanalytic hypotheses, and on the ambiguities that inevitably arise in distinguishing evidence and inference, has proven to be clarifying for both candidates and instructors. This is a somewhat expanded and perhaps more lucid distinction between the two seminar formats contrasted in my commentary.

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