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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Evidence and Psychoanalysis


Dr Louise Braddock (University of Cambridge)

Evidence is a central concern for psychoanalysis both as theory and as practice. As a theory of the mind and of society, psychoanalysis has been much attacked for its claim to find evidence for the workings of unconscious mind in the interpretation of human behaviour. And as a therapeutic practice it has equally been attacked for its claim to bring about improvement and cure of emotional disturbances by interpretive methods.


Speakers will address these claims. Empirical evidence produced by psychoanalytic methods in psychosocial investigation relates psychoanalytic theory and current qualitative thinking in the social sciences. Old debates about psychoanalysis' claim to provide a scientific basis for treatment will be revisited, challenged and revised.