Building Out Into The Dark: Theory and Observation in Science and Psychoanalysis

Author(s) : Robert A. Caper

Building Out Into The Dark: Theory and Observation in Science and Psychoanalysis

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : January 2009
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 118
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 27849
  • ISBN 13 : 9780415466813
  • ISBN 10 : 0415466814
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An introduction to psychoanalysis focusing explicitly on whether psychoanalysis is part of the sciences, and if not, where it belongs. Many psychoanalysts, beginning with Freud, have considered their discipline a science. In this book, Robert Caper examines this claim and investigates the relationship of theory to observation in both philosophy and the experimental sciences and explores how these observations differ from those made in psychoanalytic interpretation.

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Building Out into the Dark also explores topics including: the origins of psychoanalysis in the art of medicine; the therapeutic effect of psychoanalysis; the archaic superego; psychoanalysis with the individual and groups; what makes psychoanalytic work unique.

"Building Out into the Dark" offers a thoughtful consideration of the nature of psychoanalytic knowledge and how it is gained. The book's accessible and concise style makes it a useful introductory resource for students studying psychoanalysis, for psychotherapists who are curious about the distinction between psychoanalysis and other forms of therapy as well as those interested in placing psychoanalysis in the context of current cultural and intellectual developments.

About the Author:
Robert Caper is Assistanc Clinical Professor, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. He is the author of numerous psychoanalytic and scientific research papers and of two books: "Immaterial Facts: Freud's Discovery of Psychic Reality and Klein's Development of His Work" and "A Mind of One's Own". He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

About the Author(s)

Robert Caper, MD, is the author of three books and numerous articles on psychoanalysis. He has lectured in countries all around the world and currently resides in New York City and Vermont where he practices and teaches.

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Our customers have given this title an average rating of 4 out of 5 from 1 review(s), add your own review for this title.

Roselyn Abbott on 09/10/2012 18:12:50

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (4 out of 5)

Robert Caper's book `Building Out into the Dark' is a neat, wise and readable volume, dropped with care like a still point in our contemporary maelstrom re the `measurability' of the analytic talking therapies. Caper articulately argues for an acknowledgement of Freud's mistake in his attempt to package the talking cure as an experimental science rather than a technical art.
This technical art that we practice as psychoanalytically based therapists has always been a `building out into the dark'. Unlike science, psychoanalysis has not been able to combine its fundamental premise of the unconscious and defense mechanisms with observations to produce a theory that is accepted as fact. In reality, psychoanalysis is a complementary discipline to the more naturally reductionist sciences. Each may be valid but they probably cannot be observed simultaneously because they require quite different states of mind. What emerges through science is the persistent and careful use of human senses to develop testable knowledge. What emerges through psychoanalysis is the persistent attempt to replace knowing with mystery. Caper recommends a radical return to Freud's original meaning for psyche and so re-coins the term psychoanalysis as `soul treatment'.
Although the latter chapters lack something of the more poetic clarity of the first half of the book, the few pages Caper offers on `techne' seem to be the fulcrum of his argument. He describes the analytic psychotherapist as an improvising artist using the technique of interpretation as a means of `depth sounding' the soul of the client. Caper reminds us that what is vital is not what the therapist says but observing with our honed sensibilities just how the client responds.
A `must-read' for all budding technicians of the human psyche.

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