Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781848607927 | Print ISBN: 9781412907804 | Online ISBN: 9781848607927 | Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 7: Psychoanalytic Approaches to Qualitative Psychology
Stephen Frosh & Lisa Saville Young
Psychoanalytic approaches to qualitative psychology Psychologists working within academic traditions both in Britain and in the United States have often found themselves both attracted to and repelled by psychoanalytic ideas. It is as if the two disciplines have contested the same ground – how to understand human behaviour, especially apparently disturbing behaviour – and have been caught up in a dispute that is at the same time epistemological, practical and political. How one can know the reality of psychological phenomena has been a key element in this contestation, with this debate being coded (perhaps speciously) as that between an ‘objective’ (psychological) and a more ‘subjective’ (psychoanalytic) approach to understanding. This has, historically, been paralleled by differences in the focus of investigation, which for psychologists has been mainly directly observable or at least measurable phenomena (behaviours or reports on subjective states, taken at face value) whilst for psychoanalysts it has been ...