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Bucci, W. (2001). Toward a “Psychodynamic Science” The State of Current Research. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 49(1):57-68.

(2001). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 49(1):57-68

Toward a “Psychodynamic Science” The State of Current Research

Wilma Bucci

The publication of several research papers in this issue of JAPA, particularly in the context of Marvin Margolis's plenary address, sends a hopeful message about the health of psychoanalysis in its second century and a reassuring message about the role of research. Margolis's vision includes a strong research presence in the American Psychoanalytic Association—or at least a wish for one. But such a wish is hardly new. At the 1974 winter meetings of the American, for example, closer collaboration with universities was advocated, and research education, possibly including participation in a research project, was proposed as a training requirement at the institutes. While there has been some progress, there remains a long way to go. More than two decades later, according to Schacter and Luborsky (1998), only four institutes included research programs in their curricula.

Since Margolis's presidency, however, the Committee on Research Associates (RAAPA), has been established to provide institutional structure and support for a research culture in the association. The goals of RAAPA, as stated by Richard Fox and Newell Fischer, are to promote systematic research in the framework of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic science; to augment the identification of the association with such research and the identification of researchers with the association. They add that RAAPA is intended to build on the already active affiliated psychotherapy research group, the Collaborative Analytic Multi-site Project (CAMP), organized by Robert Wallerstein over ten years ago.

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