Collection and utilization of data in a psychoanalytic psychosomatic study
The naturalistic approach is important in any branch of science where we are ignorant of the crucial variables or where we lack ways to test their relationships experimentally. Such is the situation in much of current psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. Here the clinical longitudinal study, usually of a small number of cases, provides information obtainable in no other way (Knapp, 1962). However, on the current scene, such intensive studies have been supplanted to a great extent by the effort to experiment, sometimes prematurely, with groups of subjects or by controlled manipulation of various factors. We suggest that in part this tendency has resulted not just from the wish for experimental accuracy but from discouragement over the problems connected with gathering and utilizing data from the clinical therapeutic situation. This is particularly true of psychoanalytic data, which are in some ways the richest, but also the most complex. We have encountered many of these problems in an interdisciplinary study of bronchial asthma.
KeywordsBiologic Finding Configurational Analysis Steroid Excretion Clinical Longitudinal Study Psychoanalytic Therapy
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