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Taylor, D. (2015). Treatment Manuals and the Advancement of Psychoanalytic Knowledge: The Treatment Manual of the Tavistock Adult Depression Study. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(3):845-875.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(3):845-875

Treatment Manuals and the Advancement of Psychoanalytic Knowledge: The Treatment Manual of the Tavistock Adult Depression Study Related Papers

David Taylor

(Accepted for publication 18 March 2015)

This paper has two aims: first, it seeks to understand the absence of treatment manuals in psychoanalysis. Secondly, it summarizes the treatment manual of the Tavistock Adult Depression Study, which describes the form of psychoanalytic psychotherapy whose effectiveness has been evaluated both in the Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS); and in the German Die Langzeittherapie bei chronischen Depressionen (LAC) Studie. Throughout the history of psychoanalysis, opinions about treatment manuals, empirical research and their antecedents have been deeply divided. After tracing the often polarized unfolding of these matters, the paper proposes that emotional and cognitive difficulties as well as scientific ones underpin their persistence. It is suggested that greater familiarity with them may lead to better combinations of outcome research and psychoanalysis: for example, the Tavistock manual seeks to match one account of the objects, aims, values, spirit and methods of psychoanalysis (as well as of connected forms of psychoanalytic psychotherapy); and also to meet what is required of treatment manuals by random allocation controlled trials. It has been a crucial element in the above studies of the outcome of long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapies with chronically depressed patients. After describing the Tavistock Manual, the paper concludes suggesting that, if appropriately constructed, treatment manuals can make a contribution to the advancement of specifically psychoanalytic knowledge.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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