2 2 4-30 2013

Conversation Analysis – A Powerful Tool for Psychoanalytic Practice and Psychotherapy Research

Michael B. Buchholz, Horst


Psychoanalysis does not have an easy stand in documenting what “clinical facts” are. This paper proposes to use an established research tool such as Conversation Analysis (CA) in order to analyze how psychoanalytic conversation is performed in the consulting room. The vicinity of CA-approaches and psychoanalytic intuitions is documented by selected examples. We provide an outline of CA-research in psychoanalysis. Finally we debate whether psychoanalysis be science or hermeneutics; these positions are seen as two sides of a coin. One side is always in the dark. Metaphorically speaking, the future will have the task to bring this coin to an upright stand which can be managed only when the coin is given a thrilling turn by acknowledging that both, hermeneutics and science, in far reaching dimensions ignored the (micro-)social dimension of the psychoanalytic endeavor: conversation, talk-in-interaction. This will help to more clearly get in view what “clinical facts” are. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7565/landp.2013.004


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