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Wurmser, L. (2009). Psycho-News: Briefe zur Empirischen Verteidigung der Psychoanalyse, Volume 1. [Letters on the Empirical Defense of Psychoanalysis]. By Michael B. Buchholz. Giessen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2004, 451 pp., 36€.Psycho-News: Briefe zur Empirischen Verteidigung der Psychoanalyse, Volume 2. [Letters on the Empirical Defense of Psychoanalysis]. By Michael B. Buchholz. Giessen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2006, 355 pp., 34€.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(1):229-236.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(1):229-236

Book Essay: On Empiricism and Psychoanalysis

Psycho-News: Briefe zur Empirischen Verteidigung der Psychoanalyse, Volume 1. [Letters on the Empirical Defense of Psychoanalysis]. By Michael B. Buchholz. Giessen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2004, 451 pp., 36€.Psycho-News: Briefe zur Empirischen Verteidigung der Psychoanalyse, Volume 2. [Letters on the Empirical Defense of Psychoanalysis]. By Michael B. Buchholz. Giessen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2006, 355 pp., 34€.

Review by:
Léon Wurmser

For many years in the developed countries, there has raged a seesaw battle about the scientific support for psychoanalysis and therefore about its claim for recognition as a scientifically based and therefore politically and economically acceptable (reimbursable) treatment. In many countries, including the United States, the tide appears to have turned against the public acceptance of psychoanalysis, especially with the virtual disqualification of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy by the managed care system. In Germany, the situation remained favorable to psychoanalysis for much longer. There was general acceptance of having psychotherapy and psychoanalysis paid for by various insurance policies, usually for up to three hundred hours (occasionally with additional allowances), at a frequency of three times a week. However, in the last few years, German insurance has become more restrictive. One of the factors in this development was the creation of the Scientific Advisory Council, established by the new law of 1999 regulating the practice of psychotherapy. This council demanded scientific justification based on randomized clinical trials. The ruling thus strongly favored behavioral therapy (vol. 1, pp. 36, 411-424) and added considerable weight to the increasingly strident voices insisting that only “empirically supported therapy” deserves to be funded.

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