Title: A comparison of clinical psychoanalysis and research interviews
Author: Joshua Holmes
Abstract: The increasing interest in psychosocial methods justifies a comparison of elements of clinical psychoanalysis and research interviews. The article outlines the pressures for a paradigm shift in psychoanalysis and research which has led to an overlap between disciplines. While psychoanalysis is under pressure to justify itself with an evidence base, this runs against its constructivist positioning. In contrast, some researchers are becoming dissatisfied with distance and with impersonal and superficial methods. It is argued that motivation for entering each situation is similar if viewed in terms of a search for deeper understanding of the relational self. The research question is compared to the fundamental rule of psychoanalysis, and the notion of free association in the research setting is critiqued. Interpretation in the research setting is problematized. Suggestions are put forward for an integrated and reflexive means of engagement based on the researcher’s ‘reverie’ responses with participants.