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Although clinical interpretation originated with Freud, the latter's positivist preference for purely observational methods made him ambivalent toward interpretive methods. According to Rubovits-Seitz, the legacy of Freud's positivism still pervades clinical thinking and interferes with progress in investigating and improving interpretive methods. He reviews the paradigm shift in general science from positivism to postpositivism by way of demonstrating the compatibility of interpretive inquiry with a postpositivist approach.
Post-Freudian models of clinical interpretation are evaluated, andclinical methods of interpretation are compared with interpretive approachesin nonclinical fields. A detailed discussion of the neglected problem ofjustifying interpretations incorporates evaluations of specific justifyingprocedures and a case report illustrating applications of such methods. Thework concludes with a consideration of common but avoidable errors in clinicalinterpretation along with remedial strategies for dealing with them.
Following Depth-Psychological Understanding, clinicians may no longer take for granted the interpretive process and the accuracy of their own interpretations. Rubovits-Seitz's scholarly survey marks a major advance in comprehending the methodology of clinical interpretation and in setting forth both the problems and promise of interpretive methods.
Table of Contents
Preface I. Historical Background 1. Trouble at the Source: Freud's Methodologic Conflict 2. The Postpositivist Turn and the "Lingering Ghost of Positivism" in Interpretive Methodology II. Contemporary Approaches 3. Methodologic Lag in Some Contemporary Models of Clinical Interpretation 4. Some Language-Based Models of Interpretive Methodology: Evaluation of Rule-Governed, Discourse, and Narrative Models III. Nonclinical Comparisons 5. Some Nonclinical Methods of Inferring Latent Contents: Comparisons with Clinical Inference and Interpretation 6. Evaluation of "Commonsense" (Intentional) Psychology as a Model ofInterpretive Inquiry IV. Justifying Interpretations 7. The Probity of Clinical Interpretations in the Light of Grunbaum's Critiques 8. Justification of Interpretations: Evaluation of Individual Methods 9. Pluralistic, Posttherapeutic Justification of Interpretations: An Illustrative Case V. Summary and Conclusions 10. The Methodology of Clinical Interpretations:Problems and Progress
Philip F. D. Rubovits-Seitz, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University Medical Center. He was previously Director of Psychiatric Research, Indiana University; Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati; and Staff Member, The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He has received a number of national and other awards for research and teaching.
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