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Sabini, M. (2004). Response. J. Anal. Psychol., 49(5):729-734.
   

(2004). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 49(5):729-734

Response Related Papers

Meredith Sabini, M.A., Ph.D.

Response to ‘Psychotherapists’ dreams about their patients’ by Tamar Kron & Nadav Avny, J. Anal. Psychol. (2003), 48, 3, 317-39.

A doctoral dissertation?

This article has many of the hallmarks of a doctoral dissertation turned into a clinical paper: that peculiar combination of trying to deal with a clinical topic within some sort of scientific frame. I intend this observation with good humour; those who have chaired dissertations well appreciate the constraints of trying to collect data in a non-biased way (but rarely doing so) and finding a mode for analysing the data (‘methodology’) that does not squeeze all the life out of it. The result is that many otherwise important endeavours end up being less useful both clinically and scientifically than they might have been otherwise. The dream material that Kron and Avny collected would seem to merit a more thorough discussion.

The study is hampered from the outset by trying to deal with three separate and only loosely related research questions: What themes appear in the manifest content of therapists’ dreams? What contributions are made by a Jungian interpretation thereof? And, to what extent are ‘masochistic’ elements present in such dreams? Any one of these questions alone would be worthy of a doctoral study. The presentation of their results is somewhat frustrating for the reader in that it must be highly abbreviated. I would have much preferred if they told us the results of only one question at a time (i.e., devoting an article to each question).

Research methodology

There are some sampling problems that are not adequately addressed. First, no mention is made of how long any of the therapists (the ‘sample’) had been in the field. Although we are told that ‘most of the therapists were between 25 and 40’, the variable of perhaps more significance than their chronological age is how much clinical experience they have had.

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