Psychoanalytic Therapy Process Research
The case for psychoanalytic research is not academic; it is imperative. Psychoanalysis worldwide is under stress, and especially traditional American psychoanalysis is confronted by a simmering crisis reflected in decreased status and prestige. Although the roots of these crises are manifold, unresolved disagreements about fundamental theoretical and clinical tenets have resulted in a fragmentation of psychoanalysis that contributes to this decline (Hauser, 2002). For example, starting around 1960, questions were raised about the reliability and validity of the concept of “psychoanalytic process.” Numerous attempts to achieve a consensually agreed definition all failed. Vaughan, Spitzer, Davies, and Roose (1997) conclude from empirical studies that analysts cannot judge analytic process reliably and question whether it is a viable construct on its own. Process definitions have to be related to the outcome. Sigmund Freud (1912e, p. 114) implied this when he coined his famous inseparable bond thesis.