The consensus problem in psychoanalytic research
The consensus problem in psychoanalytic (and psychotherapeutic) research refers to the difficulty that clinicians have in agreeing upon the interpretation of the same set of (interview) data. This problem exists in every field of science, although some sciences necessarily depend more upon interpretation than others. Archeology and paleontology are examples of sciences that must utilize considerable interpretation in attempting to synthesize and reconstruct total pictures from fragmentary observational data. Psychodynamic research, which includes research in psychotherapy, is another such example. Psychoanalysis has shown how extensively the phenomena of personality and behavior tend to occur without direct, straightforward, objectively observable manifestations. The investigator of psychological dynamics must develop methods for “reading between the lines” and “piecing things together”—i.e., for interpreting certain aspects of the total situation that are not immediately apparent, may only be alluded to indirectly, or may even be conspicuous by their absence from the manifest behavior.
KeywordsCase Material Consensus Problem Reactive Motive Present Writer Present Interpretation
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