Psychoanalysis, as its name suggests, is a process by which the “mind” is “analysed” in the course of treatments for symptoms believed to be products of mind (not brain) pathology. There are, however, many unidentified questions about the development of its “Basic” theories (those that explain the root causes of symptoms) that, if extracted from the complexities of its clinical situation and defined, could lead to hard-science researches and major advances in the field.
Here are some of those questions and logical answers to them: What is analysed? (products of the patient’s mind) Who obtains them? (the patient) Who ultimately analyses them? (the patient, with the analyst’s assistance) What assistance can he(she) provide? (the offer of an outlet for transferences, and theoretically-informed direction, guidance, information when needed) Who is the prime mover of the endeavour? (the patient).
And if the profession proceeds further into the details of such basic beginnings, other key questions and answers emerge to view.
For example, at the start of treatment, can the clinician provide the patient with a logical, practical, detailed, scientifically-developed instruction with essential details – e.g. a “Free Association Principle” that allows him/her to obtain the “material” with which both parties in their separate roles will work? (no, there is no researched and universally applied statement of how he/she can most usefully proceed during and after consultation, and no accompanying statement of the parallel role of the analyst).
Nor is there a similarly researched and applied instruction as to what each party can most usefully do to further the work in the event of lateness or absence – e.g. a “Lateness-Absence Principle”.
And, can current research methods separate symptoms clearly caused by developmental experience from those that are the result of brain abnormalities? (no, arguments and opinions replace the search for necessary facts)
One source of the difficulty is that the first analysts (including Freud) concluded, without study, that it was not possible to subject hypotheses to experiments that determine their predictive capability (Freud, SE Vol.XXII, p.174), and that belief has persisted in spite of presentable evidence that it is false. Thus the means by which theories continue to be developed, i.e. “by consensus”, “empirical studies” (e.g. of outcome) cannot guide therapists, patients and clinician-researchers to the root causes of symptoms and permanent cures.
This website has therefore been designed to stimulate a psychosocial and cultural change in how psychoanalysis (a unique, vital, certain-to-be-lasting component in a large array of efforts to understand and cure particular types of severe sufferings of the human condition) misperceives and mythologizes proposals for a “hard” science of the field and does not realize the enormous research and practice advantages such a development can be shown to offer.