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Foldi, N.S. (2000). Crossing the Psychoanalytic-Experimental Divide via a Neuropsychological Perspective Commentary by Nancy S. Foldi, Adam M. Brickman, and Joan C. Borod. Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(2):219-222.

(2000). Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(2):219-222

Crossing the Psychoanalytic-Experimental Divide via a Neuropsychological Perspective Commentary by Nancy S. Foldi, Adam M. Brickman, and Joan C. Borod Related Papers

Nancy S. Foldi, Ph.D.

Whittle's presentation on the divide between psychoanalysis and experimental psychology describes a true disparity in the field of psychology. It is a phenomenon obvious to anyone in the field, yet his challenge is for all of us to attempt to understand why these two disciplines are so separate and why individuals fall on one side or other of the divide. Our response to Whittle's paper comes from the perspective of clinical neuropsychology. That is, we are trained from the experimental psychology-perspective, and in reading this paper, we are well aware that our own defenses are at work. In addition, as clinicians, we also recognize the value of looking across the abyss to the other side in an effort to enlighten our own field and reevaluate the contribution of psychodynamic mechanisms in clinical work and research as neuropsychologists. Certainly, Whittle succeeds in making us (and all readers) review and scrutinize our own position, and appreciate whether we are at the edge of that divide or far from it.

Whittle enumerates appropriate reasons why members of each camp do not share their work and research. In our commentary, we want to briefly discuss five different issues that are relevant to the separate ideas of the two perspectives.

Overlapping Information

Experimental psychology and psychoanalysis each has its own vocabulary to describe human behavior. But at one level, the success of psychoanalysis has been that much of the vocabulary and many of the concepts have transcended the field of psychology and fallen into everyday usage.

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