Tag Archives: Psychodynamic theory

NEW RESEARCH: Repression, defence, & the psychology of science

Boag, S. (2015). Repression, defence, & the psychology of science. In S. Boag, L. A. W. Brakel, and V. Talvitie (Eds.), Philosophy, Science, and Psychoanalysis (pp. 247-268). London: Karnac.

Boag 2015 Repression, defence, & the psychology of science download


In this chapter I propose that Freud’s theory of repression, broadly formulated, is essential for understanding the psychology of science. The possibility of self-deception and motivated ignoring in science is first discussed in the context of ‘turning a blind eye’, ‘blindness of the seeing eye’ and selective inattention. The relationship between human nature, unpleasure, and the aims of science is then addressed in the context of statistics, pathological science, and socially constructed blindness. Alfred Mele’s seminal work on self-deception is then considered and I propose that some account of Freudian repression appears to be required to satisfactorily account for selective inattention in self-deception. While determining whether any given scientist is engaging in self-deception is not easily determined, the in principle possibility of self-deception in science, is a serious concern for the discipline to acknowledge.

NEW RESEARCH: Psychodynamic approaches to Borderline Personality

Boag, S. (2014). Psychodynamic approaches to Borderline Personality DisorderACPARIAN, 9, 25-28.

Boag 2014 BPD


Psychodynamic approaches to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are particularly relevant to understanding the aetiology, treatment, and even prevention of BPD. Psychodynamic approaches contribute an understanding of the core deficits surrounding identity, object relations (self and other relationships), and emotion dysregulation in terms of personality organisation, motivational processes (e.g., attachment needs), affects, conflict, and defences. Psychodynamic approaches complement non-psychodynamic approaches to BPD. There are two major psychodynamic approaches to treating BPD: Transference-Focused Psychotherapy and Mentalisation-based Treatments. Both have demonstrated clinical utility and share common features with respect to the development of self- and other-reflection. Both the conceptualisation and classification of personality disorders have received longstanding criticism for various reasons, including comorbidity and poor reliability of assessment. Nevertheless, the view that personality (however conceptualised) can be disordered is generally accepted, and psychodynamic approaches have a long history of contributing to both our description and understanding of ‘character pathology’. Furthermore, psychodynamic accounts are particularly well-suited to understanding and guiding the treatment of personality disorders.