Pragmatism, as a philosophical concept, is often misunderstood and misapplied. Fortunately, I had the chance to speak with Philip Rosenbaum, psychoanalyst and editor of the book Making our ideas clear: Pragmatism in psychoanalysis, about what pragmatism really is and how it informs clinical theory and praxis. We discuss how pragmatism’s influence reaches far back to the beginnings of psychoanalysis, in Sigmund Freud’s original ideas, and up through the ways clinicians conceptualize their work in the present. Dr. Rosenbaum’s book and our discussion raise prescient questions about how we evaluate our ideas, questions that will be relevant to clinicians and non-clinicians alike.
Philip Rosenbaum is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst trained at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology. He serves as Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Haverford College, co-editor of The Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, and associate editor for the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis.
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