After pluralism: Towards a new, integrated psychoanalytic paradigm
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After a restatement of the isolationism of psychoanalysis from allied disciplines, and an examination of some of the reasons for the diversity of schools of thought and the fragmentation of psychoanalytic knowledge, the author suggests the need to adopt principles of correspondence or external coherence along with those of hermeneutic coherence to validate psychoanalytic hypotheses. Recent developments in neurocognitive science have come to the aid of psychoanalysis in this period of crisis, resulting in the proposition of integrating both areas to form a new paradigm for the construction of the theory of the mind. This emerging paradigm tries to integrate clinical knowledge with neurocognitive science, findings from studies on the process and outcome of psychotherapy, research into the early mother-infant relationship, and developmental psychopathology. The author examines theoretical-technical models based on the concept of drives and of relationships in the light of interdisciplinary findings. He concludes that the relational model has a broad empirical base, except when the concept of drives is discredited. Interdisciplinary findings have led to the positing of the replacement of the Freudian model of drives with a model of motivational systems centred on affective processes. He draws certain conclusions which have a bearing on the technique of psychoanalytic treatment. These arise from the adoption of the new integrated paradigm.