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Van Nieuwenhove, K. Notaerts, L. (2019). Een weg uit de impasse van single case onderzoek. Tijdschr. Psychoanal., 25(1):27-36.

(2019). Tijdschrift voor Psychoanalyse, 25(1):27-36

Een weg uit de impasse van single case onderzoek

Kimberly Van Nieuwenhove en Liza Notaerts


A way out of the dead end of single case research

Case study research involves the study of the particularity and complexity of a single case in order to attain an in-depth understanding of its dynamics within relevant contexts. It has been assumed that case studies play a crucial role in bridging the well-known « science-practice gap » because they allow research findings to reach clinicians and translate to clinical practice more easily. Unfortunately, the gap between researchers and practitioners remains. The focus of this paper is on the current difficulties that researchers and clinicians encounter in case study research that are possibly related to this stagnation. Inter alia, attention is given to the reductionism that is unavoidably attached to the operationalism of psychoanalytic constructs and the confrontation with specific publishing guidelines that are difficult to reconcile with the establishment of a clinically relevant knowledge base. Further consideration is given to how this lack of clinical relevance leads to clinicians not being informed by academic research, and the problem of accessibility of case studies. In conclusion, a few suggestions are offered for better integration of the empirical, theoretical and clinical interests in the field so that case studies can deliver their full potential.

Key words: case study, clinical relevance, science-practice gap

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