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Bornstein, R.F. (2007). Nomothetic Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Psychol., 24(4):590-602.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24(4):590-602


Nomothetic Psychoanalysis

Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D.

Psychoanalytic theory's roots (in the clinic rather than the laboratory), and aims (depth understanding of the individual) have led to the development of a theoretical perspective that relies primarily on idiographic data and case material to derive and test psychoanalytic hypotheses. In this article, I describe nomothetic psychoanalysis-a framework for conceptualizing and evaluating psychoanalytic ideas that complements and enriches the traditional idiographic approach. Guidelines for conducting nomothetic studies of psychodynamic constructs are provided, and five principles are offered for implementing nomothetic psychoanalysis to maximize its heuristic value and clinical impact.

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