Psychoanalytic Research Consortium, Inc.
The Psychoanalytic Research Consortium (PRC) is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. All contributions are tax deductible.
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Psychoanalytic Research Consortium
Sherwood Waldron, M.D., President
40 E. 94th St., #11B
New York, NY 10128
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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The original purpose of the PRC includes collecting recordings of psychoanalyses and other psychoanalytically informed psychotherapies, cataloguing and safeguarding the tapes, transcripts, and other materials relating to these treatments, in addition to preparing selections of such materials in a suitably confidential form for distribution to qualified psychoanalytic investigators. This effort has been so successful that renowned researchers have been leaving their audio tapes to the PRC, and the collection of recorded psychoanalyses is the largest in the world.
TThe PRC’s purpose recently has been broadened to include support for research on the efficacy of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapies. Current research includes the development of research instruments by a group of senior analysts who then apply these instruments to anonymous tapes of psychotherapy and psychoanalyses. This research has the promise of contributing substantially to our knowledge about what kinds of treatment are most effective.
The PRC is grateful for all funding and donations to help with this process, and to support the overall goals of improving the effectiveness of psychological treatment.
PRC CURRENT AND PENDING PROJECTS
Please click on the projects below to go to the Projects Page for more information.
- Expand the digitization of the PRC collection of reel-to-reel and cassette tape-recorded sessions from 27 of our analytic cases (the most recent cases are already originally recorded in digital format). The tapes deteriorate with time, and in two cases, to the point where they are no long usable. We already have funding from the International Psychoanalytic Association for 5,000 of the approximately 25,000 sessions needing digitization. Cost: $1.50 per session digitized.
Computer software to understand spoken text without training the computer to individual voices, currently utilized by big corporations for such tasks as the dictation of text messages into one’s iphone, will likely become available to small players like the PRC at a reasonable price in the next several years. At that point we will be able to convert all our digitized audio recordings into text directly. Then searches of entire treatments for key words or phrases will be possible, without the need to confidentialize all the text. Researchers will be better able to identify characteristics of successful and unsuccessful analyses and to develop working hypotheses about turning points or problems in sessions. Work done by Donald Spence and others has anticipated some of these possibilities, but previously there was no access to sufficient data for larger scale studies. Approximately $30,000 to digitize the rest of our collection.
- Do a systematic follow-up study of our cases. Our patients finished their analyses from 2 to 40 years ago. A model for this is the epic study by Robert Wallerstein, Forty-two Lives in Treatment (1986). We will develop further the methods to evaluate and describe the course of their lives, as well as to chart their psychological health/sickness as it has evolved following their treatments.
Our study will have the advantage, compared to earlier studies, that we have already rated the therapeutic work using the confidentialized transcripts and audio files, and we have evaluated their psychological health at the beginning and end of treatment, so that we can compare systematically the psychodynamic work with changes (or lack thereof) occurring as these patients have gone on with the rest of their lives. It is well known that patients are initially helped by short-term and non-intensive treatments, but these treatments very frequently don’t hold up well in the course of time (e.g. the NIMH Depression Collaborative Study).
Moreover there is some systematic evidence that patients treated in psychoanalysis continue to gain in mental health in the years immediately following their treatments (the Swedish study comparing analytic and once-weekly psychotherapy cases – Sandell et al. 2000) We as a field have not yet documented sufficiently that more intensive work, of sufficiently high quality with sufficiently sustained participation by the patient, in the context of a good relationship, leads to lifelong beneficial changes. The lack of systematic documentation over lifetimes is in marked contrast with numerous positive clinical experiences.
This study will cost tens of thousands of dollars (based upon my carrying out a follow-up study financed by NIMH of neurotic children into adult life (Waldron 1976 [i]).
- Prepare recorded illustrations of different kinds of psychodynamic work with patients for psychodynamic teachers and students. Short sections of sessions following our Analytic Process Scales (APS) and Dynamic Interaction Scales (DIS) Coding Manual definitions and descriptions have been invaluable in bringing alive for students how psychodynamic therapy can be helpful. Cost: a few thousand dollars to support young psychologists selecting the illustrations from our collection.
Other projects not requiring additional funding:
- Double the size of the PRC collection by studying recorded treatments of Chinese mental health professionals by Western psychoanalysts under the aegis of the China America Psychoanalytic Association (CAPA). Currently approximately 400 Western psychoanalysts teach, treat and supervise the clinical work of about 150 Chinese mental health professionals. We anticipate that a significant percentage of these will agree to recording their treatments (with full confidentialization, of course), permitting us to compare the effectiveness of distance analyses with our sample of analyses in person, already studied. No direct costs to the PRC because it will be funded by CAPA.
- Develop a series of “Transference Interaction Episodes” (“TIEs”) from the early sessions of these cases, in order to find out if our preliminary impression holds up: those patient-analyst pairs where the analyst’s comments are followed by the patient’s altering their reactions or perceptions, so that they have what could be called a mini-corrective emotional experience in the session, are the ones who go on to have the best outcomes (as measured separately by our Roman colleagues under the leadership of Francesco Gazzillo). We are currently developing the rating scales and coding manual for no additional cost for this part of the study, as it entails contributed professional time primarily.
- Contact psychoanalytic and psychodynamic training centers with a proposal for systematic evaluations of treatments with follow-ups, using the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP) with its PRC-supported measures (the Personality Health Index (PHI) and the detailed description of the patient’s strengths and weakness provided by the RADIO (both scoring methods applied to the SWAP scores as outlined in our 2011 paper[ii]). If we can successfully recruit some educational centers to use our methodology, collection of follow-up data will be greatly enhanced in the field in general but not implemented (although this study will not require recorded sessions). Cost: minimal, because the project has already been designed
[i]. Waldron, S. (1976): The Significance of Childhood Neurosis for Adult Mental Health: A Follow-Up Study. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:532-538.
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