The Academy for the Study of the
founded in 1995, is dedicated to the advancement of psychoanalysis
as a non-medical endeavor, best situated in the artistic,
philosophical, and anthropic disciplines of the humanities. It
is an organization committed to preserving basic freedoms essential to the
exploration of personal meanings within a confidential, psychoanalytic conversation –
being steadily eroded by the placement of psychology and
psychoanalysis within an increasingly regulated health care
The Academy speaks out against proliferating standards of
care arising from increasingly bureaucratic federal and state
regulatory practices that are rapidly extinguishing diversity and
professional discretion for those engaged in psychoanalytic work.
conference is sponsored in an effort to explore the far-reaching
implications and ramifications of an emerging and vociferous
research based movement derived solely from a medically based health
care model of psychotherapy. This ‘Evidence-Based Treatment’
movement threatens to foist its own particular way of thinking about
science, research, and treatment on everyone, despite evidence that
its basic assumptions and goals are not well suited to alternative
ways of thinking about people and about psychotherapy.
left unquestioned, and if universally accepted as “the
standard”, the eventual evolution of EBT into “standards of
care” may soon leave clinicians of different persuasions suddenly
realizing that they are practicing in a manner viewed by regulatory
agencies as “unjustifiable” … and therefore
particular importance to our discussion will be the consideration of
psychology’s rich diversity of different systems of thought both
within and outside of a medical way of thinking. We will talk about how
different ways of thinking bring with them very different (and sometimes
opposing) philosophical assumptions, ethical responsibilities, ways of
doing research, ways of determining what is valid and reliable, and
even… very different meanings about that which constitutes
“research” and its “evidence” and its “data”. This
conference is designed to be a collaborative, exploratory and collegial
experience for clinicians, academics and anyone for whom maintaining the
ethos of diversity, choice and multiplicity in clinical work, matters.
Academy invites you to get involved in this crucial debate, the
implications of which threaten the future of all psychotherapies
which are not viewed by the prevailing culture and its governing
bodies as being
EBT narrowly defines “evidence” for effective, ethical
psychotherapy as “results” from
research done with randomly controlled clinical trials.
This particular model of research requires manualized, standardized,
and proceduralized treatment protocols for specific “disorders”, leaving
no room for exploratory therapy aimed at the discovery of personal
it ethical for any one system of thought to shape the
standards of practice for all practitioners?
questions to be considered include the following:
psychoanalysis concerns itself with the open-ended, confidential
interrogation of personal meanings rather than with the prediction
and control of behavior (i.e. medically defined “symptoms”) can
evidence for its effectiveness or value ever be observed,
investigated, or evaluated in a research setting that assumes
“evidence” to be only that which can be objectively observed,
operationally defined, randomly controlled, and generalizable to
psychoanalysis be trying to develop treatment manuals for itself,
developing a formatted set of predictable, replicable procedures, in
an effort to “prove” its efficacy?
not, what does the future of psychoanalysis look like? Will there
even be a future for psychoanalysis? What needs to be done to insure
that there is?!
Might “data” from the consulting room, derived solely from the
collaborative searching and re-searching of ways in which the
personal meanings of an individual’s life experiences come to
colorize and contextualize all aspects of his or her feelings,
behaviors and choices ALSO be understood
as “evidence” upon which certain therapies are solidly based?
Can the “Evidence-Based” therapy movement ever include space for
those who subscribe to a non- medicalized, more holistic approach to
psychotherapy that responds to the whole person whose difficulties
are seen as part of a rich matrix of communication, and not reduced
join us in considering pertinent issues that have far-reaching
implications for all clinicians, psychoanalytic or otherwise,
committed to maintaining freedom of choice and an ethos of diversity
and multiplicity in working with individuals in psychotherapy.
NO mandatory CE credits are attached to Academy programs.
Attendees are NOT presented with a list of prescribed "learning
the contrary, we trust that attendees, as professionals, will determine for
is most significant for their own ongoing educational needs.