Misconceptions about psychoanalysis. Part 3: The teachings of psychoanalysis have not been assimilated

One often finds, when reading certain contemporary apologias for psychoanalysis, expressions of the sort: ‘Psychoanalysis was founded by Freud, but has since moved beyond him’. Or: ‘Psychoanalysis is becoming scientific through the use of neuroscience and empirical methods’. Or: ‘Freud’s pioneering speculations about sexuality and death have given way to established theories of attachment and trauma’. It is as if psychoanalysis is permissible on the condition that it is assimilated into pre-existing scientific discourses, with the indecent elements suppressed. Continue reading

Misconceptions about psychoanalysis. Part 1

It is time to clear up a few misconceptions about psychoanalysis. Culture, popular or otherwise, has changed. Once, in the film and literature of the mid-20th Century, psychotherapeutic treatment was depicted in largely psychoanalytic terms. A protagonist would speak of themselves in an intimate way, with a figure they trusted. The popular imagination has shifted since then, and consulting a psychologist is now marketed as a didactic experience, an implementation of technique, with little or no subjective element to the process. Continue reading