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Schachter, J. Luborsky, L. (1998). Who's Afraid of Psychoanalytic Research?: Analysts' Attitudes Towards Reading Clinical Versus Empirical Research Papers. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 79:965-969.

(1998). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 79:965-969

Who's Afraid of Psychoanalytic Research?: Analysts' Attitudes Towards Reading Clinical Versus Empirical Research Papers

Joseph Schachter and Lester Luborsky

The authors point out that psychoanalytic research papers are cited with less frequency than clinical papers, and, presumably, are read with less frequency. Results from two sets of questionnaires from psychoanalysts indicate that a majority of analysts report high levels of conviction in the rationales and techniques in their clinical work. However, analysts with higher degrees of conviction read fewer research papers than analysts with lower degrees of conviction. The authors speculate that analysts with higher degrees of conviction may have an underlying sense of uncertainty about their analytic work. Their uncertainty may generate concerns that research may raise questions and doubts about their rationales and techniques, and, consequently, they have little interest in empirical psychoanalytic research. Such an attitude would be understandable because analysts sense or explicitly believe that confidence in their work is an important, perhaps essential, element in the mutative effects of treatment, and must be maintained and protected. The authors believe that clinical and research approaches have each contributed to the development of psychoanalysis and that both need to be used.

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