"Does Psychoanalysis Work?" by Robert Galatzer-Levy

Does Psychoanalysis Work? Robert Galatzer-Levy, Henry Bachrach, Alan Skolnikoff, Sherwood Waldron

Publication date:
22 Jul 2014
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 156mm
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This important book is a thorough survey of every major study of the efficacy of psychoanalytic treatment. The authors—all well-known psychoanalysts—critically analyze the studies and their findings, discuss the issues that have been and should be explored in such studies, and examine the problems in conducting research into psychoanalytic outcomes.

The authors begin by providing a definition of psychoanalysis, establishing central psychoanalytic goals, and determining what questions need to be addressed in assessing whether analysis is effective. They then describe their methods and criteria for evaluating modern research on psychoanalytic outcome and apply these criteria to four major studies of adult psychoanalytic patients, several studies of child and adolescent analysis, and some small-group studies. They find that all the studies show that psychoanalysis is an effective treatment for many patients—and that some cherished assumptions about psychoanalysis are probably wrong. In the final part of the book, the authors address the challenges of collecting empirical data on psychoanalysis and explore the possibilities inherent in the single-case study.

Robert Galatzer-Levy is affiliated with the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute. Alan Skolnikoff is affiliated with the San Francisco Institute. Henry Bachrach and Sherwood Waldron are affiliated with the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.

"A highly intelligent, balanced overview of research into the outcome of analytic treatment."—Anton O. Kris, M.D., Boston Psychoanalytic Institute