An Open Door Review of Clinical, Conceptual, Process and Outcome Studies in Psychoanalysis

Dear Reader,

We welcome you to the third edition of the
Open Door Review of Outcome and Process Studies in Psychoanalysis (ODR-III).

The two previous editions of the open door review, the last in the year 2002, have been considerable successes. We hope that with this new edition we continue the idea of the ODR as a vast compendium of abstracts and summaries that shows the great diversity of the contemporary psychoanalytic research. But we have also made some slight changes in our focus. Our policy was guided by the idea that the main addressees are the clinicians of psychoanalysis that should be encouraged to sift through the growing bulk of outcome and process studies that have been carried out during the last decade. Although the focus of the open door review remains on process and outcome research in psychoanalysis, we would like to pronounce that contemporary psychoanalysis research cannot be restricted to these two domains. So, we have broaden our scope.


The first part throws a glance on psychoanalytic research from past to present. Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber discusses in her introductory chapter that – in the hundred years of psychoanalysis – not only a plurality of theories has been developed but also a plurality of research procedures, which is an indicator for any mature scientific discipline. Dominique Scarfone elaborates this point of view in his chapter on conceptual research referring to the French tradition of psychoanalysis. Ricardo Bernardi summarizes some of the research traditions in South America illustrating that we also have a plurality of different research cultures within the IPA.

In part 2 Peter Fonagy provides an excellent overview of methodological and epistemological issues on process and outcome research.

Part 3
presents under a variety of sub-headings psychoanalytic research projects by authors who have followed our invitation and makes up the principal part of the open door review. It is obvious, especially the genre of sophisticated outcome studies has become more powerful in its scope and clinicial relevance. We decided to summarize outcome and process studies which had been published after 2000 (for earlier studies: see Second Edition). We also include some few examples of systematic clinical research, conceptual research, some clinical case studies and some studies from the growing field of neuropsychoanalysis. We decided not to include the large field of psychoanalytical studies in developmental and prevention research.

Part 4
provides a fairly recent meta-analysis by Leichensring & Klein that reviews the empirical evidence for psychodynamic-psychoanalytic therapy for specific mental disorders.

In part 5 the ODR-3 assembles all the bibliographic references that have been quoted in part 3. Additionally it provides in part 6 an reading list that had been assembled by the American Psychoanalytic Association (recommended by J. Clarkin).


We would like to grasp the advantages of this web-based publication to change the open door review in a more work-in-progress-way. So we really encourage researchers from all over the world the contact us, if they wish to contribute with new abstracts. These could from now on be easily added.


But enough said for now, the doors are wide open, begin reading!


Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber & Horst Kächele

Editors in commission of the Research Committee of the IPA

September 2015


Please click here to view the ODR-III as a PDF.