Annual Research Lecture 2019

 Registration is closed for this event
Robert Hinshelwood, Margaret Rustin and Michael Rustin

 The  Development of Qualitative Research Methods in Psychoanalysis and the Integration of Psychoanalytic Thinking in Qualitative Research

Speakers: Robert Hinshelwood, Margaret Rustin and Michael Rustin

Psychoanalytic research has often been criticised as inadequate for reportedly  providing insufficient evidence of the effectiveness of  psychoanalytic  treatments. This Annual Lecture will focus, by contrast, on the equally important  question of how the validity of primary research to advance psychoanalytic theories, concepts and techniques can be enhanced. This three-part lecture will draw on recently published studies of qualitative research methods in psychoanalysis.

The lecture would come in three sections, following the outline, each speaker will present for 20 minutes, allowing time for questions and discussion:

Drawing on writings in the philosophy and sociology of the sciences, Michael Rustin will propose that psychoanalytic methods of study, and their findings, have been as appropriate to their distinctive object of study, unconscious mental life, as the research methods of  other sciences have been to theirs. He will argue that the clinical case study, which has been the foundation of psychoanalytic  knowledge  can be subjected to rigorous forms of data collection and data analysis which do not compromise its essential principles.

Margaret Rustin will describe a programme of  qualitative clinical research in child psychotherapy conducted at the Tavistock Clinic during the past 25 years which has led to new discoveries in child psychotherapy and child analysis, reported in  what are now  85 completed doctoral theses. This  work has shown that research can be successfully conducted by clinicians soon after their  training has been completed, often  through  data obtained from supervised clinical cases. It demonstrates the  value of collaboration between a psychoanalytic clinical training and a  university in developing new knowledge. 

The third presentation by Robert Hinshelwood (with Kalina Stamenova) will be based on a book that reviews many of the methods of research into unconscious dynamics outside the clinical situation.  There are currently no standard methods for making or validating such  discoveries, and some emphasis will be placed on how a more standard method might be developed. This will include some discussion on how the method of clinical discovery could lend itself to formal social science research.

The studies on which this joint lecture will draw are Researching the Unconscious: Principles of Psychoanalytic Method, by Michael Rustin: New Discoveries in Child Psychotherapy: Findings from Qualitative Research, edited by Margaret and Michael Rustin; and  Methods of Research into the Unconscious: Applying Psychoanalytic Ideas to Social Science  by Kalina Stamenova and Robert Hinshelwood, all published in 2018.  

Please note: These tickets are not refundable 

If you are a Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society - Please email:

You are welcome to join us for a short drinks reception from 7.30pm

December 4th, 2019 8:15 PM   to   9:30 PM
Institute of Psychoanalysis
Byron House, 112A Shirland Road
London W9 2BT
United Kingdom

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Phone: 020 7563 5017
Phone: 020 7563 5016
Standard £ 15.00
Candidate/Student/Trainee £ 5.00
If selected, only members with the status New, Current or Grace and those that have a website account will be able to register for this event.

Standard £ 15.00
Candidate/Student/Trainee £ 5.00