Title: The Psychoanalytic Interview as Qualitative Research
Author: Steinar Kvale
Abstract: The psychoanalytical interview is one innovative form of knowledge production that has remained outside the discussions of scientific method in psychology. Major parts of the knowledge presented in current textbooks of psychology stem from psychoanalytical interviews, a method that does not exist in textbooks of psychological methods. Some postulates and paradoxes about psychoanalytical knowledge production are posited and aspects of the psychoanalytical interview as a research method are outlined on the basis of Freud’s writings on therapy and technique. Drawing on postmodern conceptions of knowledge, the relational and constructive aspects of therapeutic knowledge production are emphasized. Characteristics of psychoanalytical knowledge production are then discussed, and it is concluded that therapeutic researchers may learn from current developments in social science interview research, and that social scientists may learn from the knowledge production in therapeutic interviews, a knowledge source that remains to be taken seriously by therapeutic researchers themselves.