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Altimir, C. Jimenez, J.P. (2020). Walking the middle ground between hermeneutics and science: A research proposal on psychoanalytic process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(3):496-522.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(3):496-522

Walking the middle ground between hermeneutics and science: A research proposal on psychoanalytic process

Carolina Altimir and Juan Pablo Jimenez

In 100 years of clinical research and 40 years of empirical research, the concept of psychoanalytic process continues to elude a consensual definition, probably because the problem and methodology must be approached in a different way. This article outlines the empirical implications of the epistemological model exposed in a previous article, by proposing a scientific, innovative, and clinically sensitive research programme for the study of psychoanalytic process. This proposal is an attempt at developing psychotherapy research that is founded on psychoanalytic hypotheses derived from a two-person psychology. The research programme focuses on the interactional nature of the analytical work, and on the relationship between the implicit (unconscious) and the explicit (conscious) levels of the analytic endeavour. The authors propose that this research programme be articulated around three methodological approaches: (1) the use of systematic case studies; (2) the adoption of the events paradigm for accessing the salient phenomena of the psychoanalytic process; and (3) a micro-analytic approach to the specific phenomena occurring within relevant sequences of interaction. These ideas are illustrated with a description of the micro-analysis of a clinical case. This article is intended to contribute to a constructive dialogue between psychoanalytic practice and psychotherapy research.

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