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The changing shape of clinical practice: driven by science or by pragmatics?

Fonagy, P; (2010) The changing shape of clinical practice: driven by science or by pragmatics? Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy , 24 (1) 22 - 43. 10.1080/02668731003590139. Green open access

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Abstract

Few would dispute that psychoanalytic practice has changed considerably over the last 50 years. The differences are at least three-fold: (a) a bimodal distribution of treatment lengths (some very long and some very short); (b) patients with personality pathology in addition to axis I symptoms; and (c) technical changes with a relational flavour, displaying influences from developmental theories including attachment theory. Are any of these changes associated with scientific research and, if so, how? A second question concerns the research base of psychoanalysis. If we take the discoveries of the last 25 years seriously, what kind of therapy might we recommend to our patients? Would it look anything like standard practice? I will attempt to pose some serious questions about the status of clinical practice, asking why it appears to be protected from scientific advances yet readily responsive to pragmatic considerations such as third party payments. To make the argument easier to absorb I will try and tell it as number of short heroic tales, each with its own beginning, middle and end, complete with the moral lessons to be learned.

Type: Article
Title: The changing shape of clinical practice: driven by science or by pragmatics?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02668731003590139
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02668731003590139
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy on 19 March 2010, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02668731003590139
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1430470
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