Is psychoanalysis kwledge? Is psychoanalysis a science, or is it hermeneutics? Can clinical material be considered research data? Psychoanalysis is ambiguous about whether it is about meaning or about truth, and the relations between these two compelling experiences. Psychoanalysts often think of their work as closer to the humanities than to medical and natural science. The wider the gap between science and psychoanalysis appears, the more psychoanalysts feel pulled to something that respects subjectivity, the humanity of their patients themselves, and move away from the procedures of natural science. Research on the Couch is a relevant and timely contribution to the current debate about both the nature and validity of psychoanalysis and its body of kwledge. Freud always regarded his clinical material as his research data. In this book R.D. Hinshelwood aims to explore that view and defend Freud's claim whilst ackwledging the criticisms of single case studies and the inevitable problems for research into human subjectivity and personal experience. To this end the book reviews Freud's own methods of disseminating his discoveries, discusses the problem of evaluating different claims to psychoanalytic kwledge, and presents a cogent logical model for testing psychoanalytic theories clinically. This book evolves a model for the generation and justification of psychoanalytic kwledge, a 'parascience' just as rigorous as natural science, and one that addresses the subjectivity of meaning. Research on the Couch will be of interest to psychoanalysts of all schools, academics, clinicians, students and those keen to further their kwledge of psychoanalytic studies.
R.D. Hinshelwood is Professor in the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He has authored numerous books and articles on Kleinian psychoanalysis. Observing Organisations (2000) was edited with Wilhelm Skogstad and is among a number of texts he has written on psychoanalytic methodologies.
R. D. Hinshelwood
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Date of Publication
Psychology: Professional & General
New Library of Psychoanalysis 'Beyond the Couch' Series
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
4 black & white tables, 1 black & white line drawings