Tuesday, May 7th, 2002, 8:00 PM

A NEW LANGUAGE FOR PSYCHOANALYTIC RESEARCH

author: Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D.
discussant: Eve Caligor, M.D.

Many psychoanalysts beleive it is impossible to conduct empirical research without eviscerating or trivializing important psychoanalytic constructs, and past research efforts haave all too often reinforced this view. This paper challenges such beliefs by presenting a new method for studying personality amd personality pathology that captures the richness and complexity of psychoanalytic constructs and formulations, while also providing reliable data for research. Dr. Shedler describes how they are using the method (called Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure, or SWAP) to develop a new personality disorder taxonomy, as an alternative to the DSM, that is not only empirically grounded but also psychoanalytically relevant. The author will also discuss the use of SWAP in psychoanalytic training and supervison, and its value as a measure of structural change in psychoanalytic process- and outcome research.