Research Topic

The Emerging Role of Interdisciplinarity in Clinical Psychoanalysis

About this Research Topic

In the last 20 years, many psychoanalysts made serious efforts to integrate psychoanalysis with and other branches of knowledge such as neuroscience, infant research, and CBT. According to this approach, clinical psychoanalysis can benefit enormously from knowledge gained by other well-established and evidence-based theories. For example, brain research on trauma and memory reveal new insights on the repressed memories of trauma victims, a question that haunted psychoanalysis from its inception.

The subject of this Research Topic is to discuss the contribution that interdisciplinary thinking can make to clinical psychoanalysis. Interdisciplinary clinical psychoanalytic thought can be formed at one of three phases: research, explanation, and implementation. At the research phase, interdisciplinary thinking will be formed when a clinical phenomenon relevant to psychoanalytic therapy, or an understanding of the psyche, is defined by non-analytic assumptions (for example, the CBT term "automatic thoughts"). At the explanation phase, when a phenomenon is realized analytically, it can be explained in a more profound and richer way by using findings in a non-analytic field (for example, "disruption-repair" as an explanation of mother-infant/patient-therapist interactions). At the implementation stage, the integration of the mixture of non-analytic clinical approaches demonstrates better results for the patient (for example, “behavioral activation”).

In spite of these significantly informed theoretical and methodological new thinking, such proposals are under-used or not in mainstream psychoanalysis. The many opponents of such views claim that whatever the findings of neuropsychoanalysis, infant observation research, and integration may be they are not congruent with the specificity of psychoanalysis, the main purpose of which is researching the unconscious and understanding transference relations.

The aim of this article collection is to advance interdisciplinary research in the field of clinical psychoanalysis. We welcome contributions that address the issue of interdisciplinarity in the field of clinical psychoanalysis in relation (but not limited) to:
• Neurospychoanalysis, which represents a position according to which psychoanalysis must engage in a fruitful dialogue with the findings of neuroscientific research that may update some assumptions and improve clinical knowledge;
• Infant research represents a position according to which researching the patterns of relations between real infants and their mothers can help analysts understand the complex processes of transference with adult patients;
• Integration between psychoanalysis and other therapeutic approaches (such as CBT) represents a position according to which combining a psychodynamic approach with CBT can increase the efficacy of the treatment and expand psychoanalysis;
• Philosophical and psychoanalytic perspectives on the questions of interdisciplinarity and clinical psychoanalysis (including perspectives that oppose an interdisciplinary approach within psychoanalysis). For example, papers that discuss whether psychoanalysis loses some of its identity and specificity by combining its thinking with that of other bodies of knowledge.


Keywords: Psychoanalysis, Neuropsychoanalysis, Psychotherapy integration, infant research, philosophy of psychoanalysis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In the last 20 years, many psychoanalysts made serious efforts to integrate psychoanalysis with and other branches of knowledge such as neuroscience, infant research, and CBT. According to this approach, clinical psychoanalysis can benefit enormously from knowledge gained by other well-established and evidence-based theories. For example, brain research on trauma and memory reveal new insights on the repressed memories of trauma victims, a question that haunted psychoanalysis from its inception.

The subject of this Research Topic is to discuss the contribution that interdisciplinary thinking can make to clinical psychoanalysis. Interdisciplinary clinical psychoanalytic thought can be formed at one of three phases: research, explanation, and implementation. At the research phase, interdisciplinary thinking will be formed when a clinical phenomenon relevant to psychoanalytic therapy, or an understanding of the psyche, is defined by non-analytic assumptions (for example, the CBT term "automatic thoughts"). At the explanation phase, when a phenomenon is realized analytically, it can be explained in a more profound and richer way by using findings in a non-analytic field (for example, "disruption-repair" as an explanation of mother-infant/patient-therapist interactions). At the implementation stage, the integration of the mixture of non-analytic clinical approaches demonstrates better results for the patient (for example, “behavioral activation”).

In spite of these significantly informed theoretical and methodological new thinking, such proposals are under-used or not in mainstream psychoanalysis. The many opponents of such views claim that whatever the findings of neuropsychoanalysis, infant observation research, and integration may be they are not congruent with the specificity of psychoanalysis, the main purpose of which is researching the unconscious and understanding transference relations.

The aim of this article collection is to advance interdisciplinary research in the field of clinical psychoanalysis. We welcome contributions that address the issue of interdisciplinarity in the field of clinical psychoanalysis in relation (but not limited) to:
• Neurospychoanalysis, which represents a position according to which psychoanalysis must engage in a fruitful dialogue with the findings of neuroscientific research that may update some assumptions and improve clinical knowledge;
• Infant research represents a position according to which researching the patterns of relations between real infants and their mothers can help analysts understand the complex processes of transference with adult patients;
• Integration between psychoanalysis and other therapeutic approaches (such as CBT) represents a position according to which combining a psychodynamic approach with CBT can increase the efficacy of the treatment and expand psychoanalysis;
• Philosophical and psychoanalytic perspectives on the questions of interdisciplinarity and clinical psychoanalysis (including perspectives that oppose an interdisciplinary approach within psychoanalysis). For example, papers that discuss whether psychoanalysis loses some of its identity and specificity by combining its thinking with that of other bodies of knowledge.


Keywords: Psychoanalysis, Neuropsychoanalysis, Psychotherapy integration, infant research, philosophy of psychoanalysis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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