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May 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm · · 0 comments

The Scientific Standing of Psychoanalysis

This article was written by Prof. Mark Solms and originally appeared in the British Journal of Psychiatry and therapy

My aim is to set out here what we psychoanalysts may consider to be the core scientific claims of our discipline. Such stock-taking is necessary due to widespread misconceptions among the public, and disagreements among ourselves regarding specialist details, which obscure a bigger picture upon which we can all agree. Agreement on our core claims, which enjoy strong empirical support, will enable us better to defend them against the prejudice that psychoanalysis is not ‘evidence-based’.

I shall address three questions: (A) How does the emotional mind work, in health and disease? (B) On this basis, what does psychoanalytic treatment aim to achieve? (C) How effective is it?

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