Forming Ideal Types by Understanding: The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Suicidal Men


  • Reinhard Lindner Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • Stephen Briggs Tavistock Clinic



suicide, suicidal men, psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, ideal types


This paper discusses the application of a qualitative methodology—forming ideal types by understanding—to the psychoanalytic psychotherapy of suicidal men. The paper focuses on a particular phase of the methodology: the validation through external expert replication. Data of cases from psychoanalytic treatment, analysed by the originating group in Germany, is analysed by a group in London, UK, which formed to undertake the task of blind comparison. We describe the contribution of this method in the field of psychoanalytic research, the method developed for generating data and the processes through which data are analysed. We demonstrate the comparative findings from the first (German) and second (UK) analyses and explore the meanings of the similarities and differences. The paper concludes with an appraisal of the strengths and limitations (in terms) of moderate levels of generalisation of results from this method for research in the field of qualitative psychotherapy research. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1002120


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Reinhard Lindner, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

Reinhard LINDNER, Privatdozent Dr. med., Specialist in Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine, Head of the Center for Therapy and Studies of Suicidal Behavior, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf and, with a scholarship of the Forschungskolleg Geriatrie, Robert Bosch Foundation, Stuttgart, Psychosomatic Consultant at the Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology Albertinen-Haus, Hamburg.

Stephen Briggs, Tavistock Clinic

Stephen BRIGGS, PhD, Associate Dean, Specialist and Mental HealthServices, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London and Professor of Social Work, Director of the Centre for Social Work Research, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of East London.




How to Cite

Lindner, R., & Briggs, S. (2010). Forming Ideal Types by Understanding: The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Suicidal Men. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(2).