Better Students Ask More Questions.
How effective is the use of free association in psychology? Is it still in common...
1 Answer | add yours
Free association is commonly practiced in psychology today; however, the technique has evolved over time to the point where it probably would not be recognizable to late 19th century psychoanalytically trained physicians. Modern-day clinicians employ free association in a much more dynamic, interactive, conversational way than did 19th century psychoanalysts.
The question of whether free association is effective within the context of psycho-therapeutic counseling is difficult to answer conclusively. There are myriad problems trying to isolate the effect of one particular technique or tool that a therapist may employ. Free association is not something that occurs in isolation. Rather, it is dynamically interwoven into the therapeutic hour. In fact, the question starkly demonstrates a few inherent problems researchers face when attempting to do “scientific” research within the field of psychotherapy.
The research paradigm of the natural sciences works requires: strong identification and isolation of variables, unbiased observation, certain types of description (most notably mathematical, schematic descriptions), and controlled experimental manipulation. These processes are difficult and even the concepts can be somewhat constraining when applied to the field of psychotherapy. The difficulties are so great that many question whether psychotherapy can rightly be called a science at all. Some suggest that the field is better understood as an art; its creative, interpretive, and humanistic elements appear central.
Posted by jpope1 on March 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM (Answer #1)
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.