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(1992). Editorial Introduction. Mod. Psychoanal., 17(2):131-132.

(1992). Modern Psychoanalysis, 17(2):131-132

Editorial Introduction

Modern psychoanalysts have gained a reputation for clinical expertise and for innovative solutions to difficult resistances. They are now becoming increasingly interested in how to use treatment sessions as laboratories for conducting research without impairing the quality of the treatment. This issue is devoted to recent thinking about research and treatment and the interrelationship between them. Among the questions raised are: How do the needs of research and treatment interact? Which takes precedence? What is a viable model for conducting psychoanalytic research? What impact does teaching research have on candidates training to be analysts? What has been discovered so far about doing psychoanalytic research? What effect does teaching research have on the faculty of an analytic institute? What would a case study conducted in accordance with the research ideas developed by modern analysts look like?

Hyman Spotnitz, who has frequently described himself as a “psychiatric researcher,” has had a lifelong interest in research. He set out to discover how to cure schizophrenia, and having found a method that worked, has been doing research for the past forty years on the best methods for teaching it. The Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies was founded in the spirit of educational research. Optimal methods for training analysts to do treatment and conduct research continue to be studied by faculty, administration and candidates.

Spotnitz reminds us that successful research is conducted in a way that is therapeutic for the patient. In destructive research, the analyst loses sight of the patient. He gives examples in which following correct procedure may prove harmful to the patient.

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