The methodology of the ongoing and planned research projects of the Division Psychodynamics headed by the professorship of Univ.-Prof.in Dr.in Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch includes metacognitive and epistemological approaches in addition to state-of-the-art psychotherapy research. Thus, in addition to the clinical and empirical investigation of processes and results of psychotherapeutic treatments, the research of meta-theoretical questions and, in particular, the investigation of phenomena in the field of subjectivity in a non-reductive manner with First-Person Methodologies is enabled. Further empirical methodologies are used for psychotherapy research and average population research projects. Psychometric instruments developed on the basis of clinical experience in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy are applied. Experimental methodologies are being integrated into psychodynamic psychotherapy research in order to better understand the nature of the psychophysical continuum and how therapeutic changes are effective by studying the impact of psychodynamic treatments on neurobiological functioning.
A wide range of projects is carried out at the Division Psychodynamics, resulting in a continuous peer-reviewed publication activity with leading international periodicals and publishing houses. One current project is the work of the professor and head Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch is the volume Sigmund Freud (2020). Freuds dynamisches Strukturmodell des Mentalen im 21. Jahrhundert. Herausgegeben und kommentiert von Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch. Sigmund Freuds Werke. Wiener Interdisziplinäre Kommentare. [Freud’s Dynamic Structural Model of the Mind in the 21st Century. With an introduction and commented by Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch. The Works of Sigmund Freud. Viennese Interdisciplinary Commentaries], in which Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch is a co-editor. In this volume, two central texts by Freud are newly commented in the light of the current state of interdisciplinary scientific research and provided with a systematic introduction, which presents Freud's theory of the mind from the perspective of current psychoanalytic research and brings it into interdisciplinary dialogue with advanced approaches in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience and the philosophy of mind.
Current research projects also include the interdisciplinary study of subjective experience, such as the project Psychodynamische und wissenschaftshistorische Aspekte der Empathie [Psychodynamic research of empathy in the light of the history of science] [CICLO XXXI SSD M-FIL/03] in cooperation with the Italian University Federico II Naples or the project Die Irreduzibilität der Erfahrung [The irreducibility of subjective experience] [SC16-025] funded by the Niederösterreichische Forschung und Bildung GmbH [Lower Austrian Science and Education Fund] (NFB). The latter examines current approaches and controversies that deal with the phenomenon of subjective experience in psychodynamic psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic research findings as well as converging results of phenomenological and neurocognitive embodiment research, the philosophy of mind and findings from the cognitive field are systematically brought into conversation with each other in order to identify areas of convergence.
The Division Psychodynamics also investigates the application of its research methodologies to non-clinical phenomena and branches of knowledge. The psychological and psychodynamic studies of religious experience amount to a science of human behavior and human experience. Religious experience as a specifically human experience can be addressed by the methodologies of psychodynamic psychotherapy research by means of First-Person Methodologies. An essential pivotal point of the research of the professorship is the research project Psychologische und psychodynamische Aspekte der religiösen Erfahrungen im Bezugsrahmen der Abrahamitischen Religionen[Psychological and Psychodynamic Aspects of Religious Experience in the Frame of Reference of the Abrahamic Religions] [K3F730/001-2017].
The research-generated Maimonides Lectures originate from this project, which, under the auspices of the Office of the Provincial Government of Lower Austria, intensify the dialogue between the sciences, in particular the health sciences, and the Abrahamic religions and, by means of symposia and keynote lectures in Lower Austria, enable a continuous encounter between representatives of the religious communities, researchers as well as students and their relatives confessed to the Abrahamic traditions. Starting from the field of medicine, the aim is to succeed in encompassing a multitude of social challenges and bridging disciplines which currently determine people's lives to a large extent. The Maimonides Lectures explore the changing socio-economic and ecological conditions and the psychological, political and sociological aspects of our living conditions as well as religious and cultural experiences in a globalized society.
In the spirit of the philosopher, physician and scholar Moses ben Maimon, the Maimonides Lectures encounter Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions and build the foundations for a culture of deep appreciation of religious diversity and mutual understanding, which enables an authentic dialogue between cultures. The Maimonides Lectures in Lower Austria are jointly organized by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) with the Abrahamic religious communities in Austria and the Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences (KL) under the auspices of the Office of the Provincial Government of Lower Austria and establish cooperative, sustainable research at a level of excellence.
This is also intended to make a contribution to basic research in the medical humanities. The medical humanities open up a field in which medicine and the humanities engage in dialogue on experiences and conceptual issues. Furthermore, medical humanities unfolds opportunities to reflect on one’s own function, on the aspirational goals of shaping personal and professional identity and on the enhancement of students’ education. Medical humanities raises a broad range of questions concerning professional ethics and treatment techniques, the handling and boundaries of treatment as well as the subjective understanding of illness and death, including their religious aspects. Accordingly, this research field implies a strong focus on mental states of patients and the persons treating them from perspectives that transcend both the medical and the psychological points of view.
The efforts are primarily concerned with the professionalisation of medical and health care professions and their significance for humankind within the framework of the guiding principles of Responsible Science, which are committed to responsible scientific progress. The focus of the planned research and interdisciplinary teaching of the medical humanities is the consideration of the entire image of man and its expression and reflection in the relationship between doctors or psychotherapeutic and psychological clinicians and patients and in medical, psychotherapeutic or psychological discussions.