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Research method used in psychoanalysis, unlike already considered methods have been developed specifically for the study of mental disorders. It has emerged from clinical experience, and not from the construction on the basis of basic sciences. Psychoanalysis is characterized by a particularly complex and universal theory of both normal and pathological mental functioning. Compared with experimental psychology, it is much more concerned with the irrational side of mental activity. Because psychoanalytic theory offers a broad range of clinical explanations of phenomena, it has a wide circle of adherents. However, the same features that give psychoanalysis versatility exclude him scientific methods of verification.


Psychoanalytic theory created by Freud, but many other scientists have made it contributed to or built alternative theories. In this section, reference is made only to Freud's theory, rather than on the works of other analysts in this area, described in the scope of this chapter. There is also fixed attention on the basic ideas of psychoanalysis, the hypothesis of partial syndromes are discussed in other chapters. It is recommended to supplement the brief information given in section, reading the works of Freud, for example introduction to psychoanalysis or works listed in the bibliography at the end of this chapter. It is also useful to explore the critical evaluation of psychoanalytic theory (see, eg, Farrell 1981 or Dalbiez 1941).

Psychoanalytic research data obtained mainly in the process of psychoanalytic treatment. They consist of messages patients about their thoughts, fantasies and dreams, along with memories of childhood experiences. Taking on a passive role, the analyst seeks to ensure that the material is the result of interviews patient's free associations, and not his own preconceptions. The analyst also interprets some of the allegations of the patient and his behavior in terms of the analytic theory. In analytical records are sometimes difficult to clearly delineate statements patient from the analyst's interpretations.


As mentioned earlier in this chapter, you can spend an important distinction between understanding and explanation. From this perspective, psychoanalysis is a very complex form of understanding by which try to offer a more plausible interpretation of mental disorders. This theory does not lead to explanatory hypotheses that can be tested experimentally, although attempts were made to test some hypotheses low level (see: Fisher, Greenberg 1977). Farrell (1981) drew attention to the fact that psychoanalysis is an example of the general theory of the type found in other areas of knowledge. Such theories are often of considerable value in science, creating a foundation upon which other ideas may develop. Darwinian evolution is an example of a fruitful theory of this type. To be viable, such theories must have the property include new observations as they become available. Durability of Darwin's theory is partly due to the fact that it was compatible with more recent observations of the field of genetics and data paleontological research. On the other hand, psychoanalytic theory, as it turned out, not quite compatible with the achievements of the Neurological Sciences. According to its present status as it is closer to the penetration into human nature inherent in great writers. In each case, this insight helped deepen our understanding of the man, but it is not part of scientific knowledge. Psychiatrists need a broad understanding of human nature. Help achieve this as some of the ideas of psychoanalysis, and the great works of literature.

Here is presented a concise summary of the main features of Freud's theory. It is too brief to do justice to the ideas of Freud, but rather extensively compared with the extremely limited space allocated for a description of other methods.


Many of the provisions that are present in this theory were in use even before Freud started his psychological studies (see: Sulloway 1979), but he managed to skillfully combine them. Central point was carefully developed concept of Freud's unconscious. He suggested that all mental processes are emerging in this field. Some of these processes are allowed freely to consciousness (eg, feelings), others are not allowed at all (actually unconscious), and others are allowed only occasionally (most of the memories that make up the preconscious). Unconscious, according to Freud, has three characteristic features, which play an important role in the genesis of neurosis: it is divorced from reality, it is dynamic in the sense that it contains a powerful force, it is in conflict with consciousness. Let's consider each of these three points.


Unconscious divorced from reality in several respects. It contains a glaring contradictions and paradoxes, it has an inherent tendency to combine situation and fantasy separated in reality a significant period of time. These symptoms, according to Freud, are well illustrated by the analysis of dreams. He argued that the manifest content of dreams (what people remember after waking up) can be analyzed in the opposite direction to its latent content, which is the desire experienced in early childhood. It was believed that sleep produces dream work Translation hidden content explicit. This is accomplished through a number of mechanisms, such as thickening (merging multiple images together), shift (shift in emphasis sensations with essential features for object unimportant) and secondary processing (regrouping and linking elements of the dream in a more or less harmonious whole). Freud attached importance

Current theory of dreams, believing that is about the same as in dreams, and the structure must be neurotic symptoms, although secondary treatment in this case is more significant.
The second aspect is that the unconscious dynamically ie it contains pulses that are maintained in equilibrium by a series of mechanisms for controlling and balancing.

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