The Theoretical Basis of Psychoanalysis (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
Psychoanalysis is a method that is used to understand the workings of the human mind. Adherents to psychoanalysis believe that many forces operate to influence and shape the mind, including some that exist beneath the level of conscious awareness and control. Psychoanalysis permits scientists to observe and collect information about the mind, to develop and test scientific hypotheses about mental processes, and to use the scientific wisdom gained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychoanalytic theory helps psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners understand more about human emotions and psychological development. Though many psychoanalytic concepts were first developed only in the late nineteenth century, psychoanalysis has made significant and lasting contributions to modern psychiatry and continues to enhance its development.
The precepts of psychoanalysis have been subjected to much scientific scrutiny and criticism. As befits any scientific discipline, psychoanalytic theory has been revised periodically to account for new information, observations, and insights. Psychoanalytic theory also is seen as contributing to other scientific disciplines, such as neurology, the social sciences, and psychology. Psychoanalysis has also broadened understanding in the humanities, the arts, philosophy, ethics, and religion. Psychoanalysis clearly has had a profound and lasting impact upon a broad...
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Indications and Procedures (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
In relation to medical science and, more specifically, to psychiatry, psychoanalysis is used to diagnose and treat emotional illness.
In diagnosis, psychoanalysts have purposes that differ considerably from those of general psychiatry. The analyst uses diagnosis to determine the patient’s potential for analysis, the usefulness of analysis in treating the particular emotional problem experienced by the patient, the patient’s level of incapacity, the likelihood that the patient will improve, and the likelihood that the analyst will be able to understand and help the patient. Other mental health specialists typically compare the signs and symptoms demonstrated or described by the patient to those cataloged in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR (4th ed., 2000) and assign a diagnosis that best fits the patient. The psychoanalytic approach to diagnosis, conversely, is based on what the analyst can learn about the patient’s inner experiences, especially unconscious conflicts and fantasies.
Psychoanalysis is considered to be the treatment of choice for younger adults suffering from chronic emotional illness not helped by less intensive therapies. People who suffer from hysteria, obsessive-compulsive neuroses, sexual perversions, and certain personality disorders are seen as the best candidates for psychoanalysis. To be considered...
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Perspective and Prospects (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
Psychoanalysis was born in the wake of evidence that hysteria can be caused by repressed memories or unconscious wishes. People who suffer from hysteria, now known as conversion disorder, develop physical symptoms such as paralysis or blindness in an otherwise healthy body. Sigmund Freud was influenced by the work of French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) and fellow Viennese physician Josef Breuer (1842-1925), both of whom were trying to find effective treatments for hysteria. Charcot relied on the use of hypnosis, while Breuer allowed patients to empty their minds, in an early version of free association. In 1895, Breuer and Freud published accounts of their theories and successful cures of patients suffering from hysteria. Freud also was influenced by the work of others on the hierarchy of the nervous system, philosophical concepts of the unconscious mind, posthypnotic suggestion, and the organization of the brain. He was a prolific author and teacher who fostered the careers of several followers.
Many of those who learned from and were influenced by Freud later developed their own variations or new areas of emphasis within Freudian psychoanalysis. Closer study of the role of the ego in emotional disorders led to the development of ego psychology, which enhanced the understanding of the defense, coping, and adaptive mechanisms of the ego. Others chose to emphasize the role of parents and other...
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For Further Information: (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
American Psychiatric Association Commission on Psychiatric Therapies. The Psychiatric Therapies. Washington, D.C.: Author, 1984. Addresses a goal set by the American Psychiatric Association to collect information on psychotherapies in use in the United States. Psychoanalysis is discussed in the section on psychosocial therapies, and psychoanalytic theory is shown elsewhere to be crucial in understanding sexual dysfunction. Another section deals with evaluating psychotherapies.
Clark, Ronald. Freud, the Man and the Cause. New York: Random House, 1980. A biography of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Presents material uncovered since the publication in the late 1950’s of a biography by Freud’s protégé Ernest Jones. The reader learns how Freud’s own childhood experiences shaped him as he became one of the most influential thinkers of modern times.
Gay, Peter. Freud: A Life for Our Time. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998. The author’s discussion of Freud’s development and revision of his psychoanalytic theories and techniques is particularly valuable for the general reader, who will also appreciate the wealth of detail illuminating significant aspects of Freud’s life and the concerns of his time.
Mishne, Judith Marks. The Evolution and Application of Clinical Theory: Perspective from Four Psychologies. New York: Free Press, 1993. The book is intended...
(The entire section is 314 words.)
Introduction (Psychology and Mental Health)
Psychoanalysis began as a method for treating emotional suffering. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, working at the beginning of the twentieth century, made many discoveries by studying patients with symptoms such as excessive anxiety (fear that is not realistic) or paralysis for which no physical cause could be found. He became the first psychoanalyst (often called analyst) when he developed the method of free association, in which he encouraged his patients to say whatever came to mind about their symptoms and their lives. He found that by talking in this way, his patients discovered feelings and thoughts they had not known they had. When they became aware of these unconscious thoughts and feelings, their symptoms lessened or disappeared.
Psychoanalysis as a form of psychotherapy continues to be an effective method for treating certain forms of emotional suffering, such as anxieties and inhibitions (inner constraints) that interfere with success in school, work, or relationships. It is based on the understanding that each individual is unique, that the past shapes the present, and that factors outside people’s awareness influence their thoughts, feelings, and actions. As a comprehensive treatment, it has the potential to change many areas of a person’s functioning. Although modern psychoanalysis is different in many ways from what was practiced in Freud’s era, talking and listening remain important....
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Psychoanalytic Treatment (Psychology and Mental Health)
Psychoanalysis is a method for helping people with symptoms that result from emotional conflict. Common symptoms in the modern era include anxiety (fear that is not realistic), depression (excessive sadness that is not due to a current loss), frequent unhealthy choices in relationships, and trouble getting along well with peers or family members. For example, some people may feel continuously insecure and worried about doing well in school or work despite getting good grades or reviews. Other people may be attracted to sexual and emotional partners who treat them poorly. Others may experience loneliness and isolation because of fears about close relationships. Others may sabotage their success by always changing direction before reaching their goals. Children may have tantrums beyond the age when these are normal, or be afraid of going to sleep every night, or feel unhappy with their maleness or femaleness.
The same symptom can have several different causes, an etiology Freud termed overdetermination. For example, depression may be due to inner emotional constraints that prevent success, to biological vulnerability, or to upsetting events (such as the death of a loved one), or it may result from a combination of these. Therefore, most psychoanalysts believe in meeting with a person several times before deciding on the best treatment. Psychoanalysis is not for everyone who has a symptom. Sometimes psychoanalysis is...
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Method of Treatment in Psychoanalysis (Psychology and Mental Health)
A person who goes to a psychoanalyst for consultation usually meets with the analyst at least three times face-to-face before the analyst recommends psychoanalysis. Sometimes the patient and analyst meet for several weeks, months, or years in psychoanalytic psychotherapy; they decide on psychoanalysis if they identify problems that are unlikely to be solved by less intensive treatment.
Once they begin psychoanalysis, the analyst and patient usually meet four or five times per week for fifty-minute sessions, as this creates the intensive personal relationship that plays an important role in the therapeutic process. The frequent sessions do not mean that the patient is very sick; they are necessary to help the patient reach deeper levels of awareness. (People with the severest forms of mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are not usually treated with psychoanalysis.) Often the adult patient lies on a couch, as this may make it easier to speak freely. The couch is not essential, and some patients feel more comfortable sitting up.
By working together to diminish obstacles to free expression in the treatment sessions, the analyst and patient come to understand the patient’s worries and learn how the patient’s mind works. The patient learns about thoughts and feelings he or she has kept out of awareness or isolated from each other. Through the intensity that comes from frequent meetings with the...
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Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Psychology and Mental Health)
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is more varied than psychoanalysis. It may be very intensive, or it may be focused on a specific problem, such as a recent loss or trouble deciding about a job. In psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the patient and therapist usually sit face-to-face and approach the patient’s problems, whatever they are, in a more interactive way. Most often, patient and therapist meet twice per week in fifty-minute sessions. Once per week is also common but not considered to be as helpful. More frequent meetings (three to five times per week) may be necessary if the patient is in crisis or has chronic problems that are not treatable with psychoanalysis.
Although psychoanalysts are well trained to practice psychoanalytic psychotherapy, this treatment is also practiced by psychotherapists who are not psychoanalysts. Some of these therapists have taken courses at psychoanalytic institutes.
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Medication and Confidentiality Issues (Psychology and Mental Health)
In the early days of psychoanalysis, analysts believed that treatment with medication would interfere with psychoanalysis. Most modern psychoanalysts believe that, although medicine can sometimes interfere, there are times when it can be used in a helpful way in combination with psychoanalytic psychotherapy or even with psychoanalysis.
“Confidentiality” is the term used to describe the privacy necessary for individuals to be able to speak freely about all their thoughts and feelings. Responsible psychoanalysts and psychotherapists agree to keep private everything about their patients, including the fact that the patient has come for treatment, unless the patient gives permission to release some specific information. One exception is when patients are at risk for hurting themselves or someone else. In Jaffe v. Redmond (1995), the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that confidentiality is necessary for the patient to speak freely in psychotherapy.
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Training and Qualifications for Psychoanalysts (Psychology and Mental Health)
The International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), formed during Freud’s lifetime, is a worldwide organization of psychoanalysts that remained in place throughout the twentieth century. The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) was founded in 1911 and grew to three thousand members during the course of the twentieth century. All its members also belonged to the IPA. Many schools for psychoanalysts, or psychoanalytic institutes, were accredited (examined and found to meet a set of standards) by APsaA over the years. APsaA also developed an examination called certification to test graduate psychoanalysts.
Because the first psychoanalysts in the United States believed that psychoanalysis would be more highly valued if connected with the medical profession, the APsaA initially accepted only psychiatrists (who are medical doctors) as members. Exceptions were made for professionals who applied to train as researchers. This contrasted with the practice in Europe, where many nonmedical psychoanalysts became members of the IPA. Nonmedical professionals, such as psychologists and social workers, who wanted to become psychoanalysts in the United States often trained in psychoanalytic institutes not recognized by the APsaA. Some were recognized by the IPA and later banded together under the name of the International Psychoanalytic Societies (IPS). Other institutes developed outside both...
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Training in the Twenty-first Century (Psychology and Mental Health)
Since, by the beginning of the twenty-first century, no laws were yet in place in the United States to define who could practice psychoanalysis, it remained difficult for the public to tell who was qualified. In the late 1990’s, several national organizations of the core mental health disciplines came together in a coalition called the Consortium for Psychoanalysis. By the turn of the century, they had agreed on baseline standards that would be used to develop a national organization to accredit psychoanalytic institutes. These organizations were the American Psychoanalytic Association, the division of psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association, the National Membership Committee on Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work, and the American Academy of Psychoanalysis.
Trained psychoanalysts in the twenty-first century who meet these standards already have a mental health degree, except in unusual cases, before becoming psychoanalysts. Once accepted for training at a psychoanalytic institute, these mental health professionals study many more years to become qualified psychoanalysts. They take courses and treat patients while supervised by experienced psychoanalysts. In addition, they are required to undergo psychoanalysis themselves to gain enough self-knowledge to keep their own problems from interfering with the treatment of patients.
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Psychoanalysis as a Theory (Psychology and Mental Health)
All psychoanalytic theories are based on the idea that people are motivated by thoughts and feelings outside their awareness, that the past influences the present, and that each individual is unique. Because so much change and growth have occurred since Freud’s era, psychoanalysis is no longer a single theory but encompasses many different theories. All psychoanalytic theories are theories of motivation (what makes people do what they do), theories of development (how people get to be the way they are), and theories of change (how psychoanalytic treatment works). Psychoanalytic theories are usually also theories of personality development (who people are) and personality disturbance.
Most theories emphasize the complexity of each person’s symptoms and behavior and take into account many different influences. For example, the psychoanalytic theory called ego psychology describes development as a complex interaction of biology (inborn factors) and experience over time. Early childhood experiences are especially important because they influence the way a person’s ability to cope with the world (ego functioning) develops. Each person adapts to the environment in a unique way that gradually becomes more consistent by the time the person grows to adulthood.
Psychoanalytic theories are comprehensive theories of mental functioning and disorder. For this reason, they originally formed the basis for the...
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Psychoanalytic Theory Applications (Psychology and Mental Health)
Psychoanalytic ideas have been applied in many fields of study. For example, psychoanalytic theories about loss and mourning have been used to help inner-city children cope with their reactions to losses in mourning groups. Psychoanalytic ideas about power and helplessness have been used in schools to decrease violence by changing the atmosphere in which bullies can thrive. Psychoanalytic ideas led to the concept of social and emotional learning whereby educators have demonstrated that intelligence is not just based on the ability to think but includes emotions and social abilities. Psychoanalytic ideas have been used in the study of literature to understand characters such as Hamlet and Othello. They have been used in the study of culture to understand terrorists and the cultures that support them. Psychoanalysts apply psychoanalytic theories in the help they offer to day care centers, businesses, diplomats, police officers, firefighters, rabbis, priests, and others.
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Sources for Further Study (Psychology and Mental Health)
Brenner, Charles. An Elementary Textbook of Psychoanalysis. Rev. ed. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1994. This book introduces interested readers to the fundamentals of psychoanalysis, explaining core psychoanalytic concepts in clear language.
Gabbard, Glenn. Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, DSM-IV Edition. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, 2005. This is a textbook that approaches DSM-IV from a psychoanalytic point of view. It includes an introductory section describing psychodynamic principles and then sections describing Axis I and Axis II disorders from a psychodynamic perspective.
Gay, Peter. Freud: A Life for Our Time. 1988. Reprint. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006. This biography of Freud was written by his physician. It describes the history of psychoanalysis during Freud’s lifetime.
Vaughan, Susan. The Talking Cure: The Science Behind Psychotherapy. New York: Henry Holt, 1998. This book is written for people who may want to visit a psychoanalyst or who want to learn about models of mind and brain that integrate psychoanalytic theories with other scientific theories. It includes several descriptions of what happens when patients visit psychoanalysts.
Wallerstein, R. S. The Talking Cures: The Psychoanalyses and the Psychotherapies. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1995. This book provides a...
(The entire section is 282 words.)
Psychoanalysis (Encyclopedia of Medicine)
Psychoanalysis is a form of psychotherapy used by qualified psychotherapists to treat patients who have a range of mild to moderate chronic life problems. It is related to a specific body of theories about the relationships between conscious and unconscious mental processes, and should not be used as a synonym for psychotherapy in general. Psychoanalysis is done one-onone with the patient and the analyst; it is not appropriate for group work.
Psychoanalysis is the most intensive form of an approach to treatment called psychodynamic therapy. Psychodynamic refers to a view of human personality that results from interactions between conscious and unconscious factors. The purpose of all forms of psychodynamic treatment is to bring unconscious mental material and processes into full consciousness so that the patient can gain more control over his or her life.
Classical psychoanalysis has become the least commonly practiced form of psychodynamic therapy because of its demands on the patient's time, as well as on his or her emotional and financial resources. It is, however, the oldest form of psychodynamic treatment. The theories that underlie psychoanalysis were worked out by Sigmund Freud (1856939), a Viennese physician, during the early years of the twentieth century. Freud's discoveries were made...
(The entire section is 1708 words.)
Psychoanalysis (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders)
Psychoanalysis, as a form of therapy, is based on the understanding that human beings are largely unaware of the mental processes that determine their thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and that psychological suffering can be alleviated by making those processes known to the individual.
Sigmund Freud originally developed the theory and technique of psychoanalysis in the 1890s. Freud's ideas are still used in comptemporary practice; however, many have been further developed or refined and some even abandoned. The theory and technique of psychoanalyis contnues to integrate new insights about human development and behavior based on psychoanalytic research and discoveries from related fields. Different schools of psychoanalytic theory have evolved out of the original Freudian one, reflecting a variety of ideas and perspectives. Psychoanalysis is practiced by a trained psychoanalyst, also referred to as an analyst.
Primary goals of psychoanalysis include symptom relief, increased self-awareness, and a more objective capacity for self-observation. Other aims might include improved relationships with others and the capacity to live a more deeply satisfying life. Typically, an individual seeks treatment in order to...
(The entire section is 1520 words.)
Psychoanalysis (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
A method of treatment for mental, emotional, and behavioral dysfunctions as developed by Sigmund Freud.
Developed in Vienna, Austria, by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), psychoanalysis is based on an approach in which the therapist helps the patient better understand him- or herself through examination of the deep personal feelings, relationships, and events that have shaped motivations and behavior. Freud developed his theories during the end of the 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries in Vienna, Austria, where he was a practicing physician specializing in neurological disorders. Freud's interest originated in his medical practice when he encountered patients who were clearly suffering physical symptoms for which he could find no organic, or biological, cause. Freud's first attempt to get at the psychological cause of these patients' pain was through hypnosis, which he studied in Paris in 1885. He found the results to be less than he'd hoped, however, and soon borrowed from a Viennese contemporary the idea of getting a patient to simply talk about his or her problems. Freud expanded upon this practice, however, by creating the idea of "free association," in which a patient is encouraged to speak in a non-narrative, non-directed manner, with the hope that he or she will eventually reveal/uncover the unconscious heart of the problem....
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Psychoanalysis (International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)
Sigmund Freud himself provided the most complete, and now most classical definition for his invention, psychoanalysis: "Psycho-analysis is the name (1) of a procedure for investigating mental processes which are almost inaccessible in any other way, (2) of a method (based upon that investigation) for the treatment of neurotic disorders and (3) of a collection of psychological information obtained along those lines, which is gradually being accumulated into a new scientific discipline" (1923a , p. 235). This definition, intended for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, is still widely used today by many psychoanalytic training institutes.
Freud also wrote that the best way to understand psychoanalysis was to study its history. Its origins could be traced to the young Viennese doctor's medical practice. He frequently treated "nervous" patients, for the most part described as suffering from "hysteria," a field he came to specialize in after his return from Paris and his work assisting Jean Martin Charcot. He needed to heal these patients and develop a clientele large enough to support his growing family, even though therapeutic procedures at the time were practically nonexistent. The available techniqueslectric shock, isolation in medical clinics, and sedativesere soon abandoned. Hypnosis appeared to him at first to produce miraculous results, but it turned out to be a dead end, and he decided to apply the "cathartic method" that his mentor, Joseph Breuer, had discovered during the treatment of the patient known as Anna O. Taking the symptom as its starting point, this method strove to have the patient recall the circumstances of its first occurrence, and a successful outcome depended on this recollection by means of talk, which was supposed to make the symptom disappear.
Freud then discovered the "resistance" that patients would put up during the search for pathogenic "primal scenes," as if they wanted to keep the origin of their illness secret. The material that was "repressed" in this way always involved old memories associated with specific events related to the earliest sexual activity of children. His suggestion that such a sexuality even existed greatly shocked many of his contemporaries. His patients soon began drawing his attention to their dreams, which he encouraged them to recount. In keeping with his belief in determinism, Freud concluded that dreams fulfilled a functionhe safeguarding of sleep through the fulfillment of wishes that had been ignored by consciousnessnd consequently had an "unconscious" content, a meaning that could be deciphered. The analysis of resistance and the interpretation of dreams, together with the method of "free association," became the pillars of the psychotherapy to which Freud, in 1896, gave the name "psychoanalysis." The term appeared for the first time in an article written in French, "Heredity and the Aetiology of the Neuroses" (1896a).
By the first years of the twentieth century, the principal features of psychoanalytic treatment that still define it at the beginning of the twenty-first had been established: The patient was placed on a couch and the therapist remained out of sight. The patient was asked to say whatever came to mind. Sessions were fairly long, frequent, and expensive, so that the treatment would become an important part of the patient's life and so that the bond with the psychoanalysthe "transference"ould become the principal engine of the attempt to reconstruct the past and weaken the defenses the patient had set up against the pressure from contradictory drives. But the initial therapeutic successes were not as consistent or as long-lasting as Freud had hoped. The transference could become hostile and give rise to a "negative therapeutic reaction," leading to the discontinuation of treatment or its indefinite extension.
Freud was less a therapist than a researcher, something he often recognized; it was primarily his students and successors who introduced improvements to his methods, or different but connected methods, to make the "therapeutic" aspect of psychoanalysis more effective.
Thus Carl G. Jung and Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth worked with psychotic patients, and Anna Freud and Melanie Klein with children. Otto Rank and Sándor Ferenczi sought to improve psychoanalytic therapy and make it more effective. They introduced so-called "active" techniques and tried to shorten the length of therapy, even exploring a form of "mutual analysis." Traces of these early initiatives can be found in psychotherapeutic methods developed years later. Similarly, the extension of psychotherapy to patients presenting problems of psychosis or addiction, and the development of group analysis and psychodrama all tended to point up the therapeutic value of psychoanalysis. Some psychoanalysts sought to render their approach more effective by forging links with the neurosciences.
Following Freud, however, who quipped about the profession's "furor sanandi," other psychoanalysts emphasized the research implications of treatment. Thus Jacques Lacan, who in 1957 spoke of curing patients as merely an "extra" benefit of psychoanalysis, and who in 1964, when he founded theole freudienne de Paris, described training analysis as "pure"s opposed to simply "therapeutic"sychoanalysis, clearly represents the tendency that embraces the third of Freud's three basic definitions of psychoanalysis.
In his daily practice, however, Freud never differentiated between what he experienced and what he theorized later. His letters to Wilhelm Fliess allow us to follow, almost day by day, the theory-building that turned psychoanalysis into the "depth psychology" Freud hoped would supplant academic psychology. A work of construction thenut also of deconstructionreud considered his ideas to be superstructures whose existence was necessarily ephemeral, and anticipated new discoveries better adapted to the knowledge obtained from clinical practice. A first model, developed in 1900, which described a psychic apparatus formed of three agencieshe unconscious, preconscious, and consciousas replaced in 1923 by another conceptual scheme comprising the id, the ego, and the superego. And while Freud remained firmly committed to the Oedipus complex, he had, over a period of forty years of work, fleshed out the speculative aspects of his metapsychology with new concepts that improved and sometimes reversed his earlier hypotheses: narcissism, the death instinct, the phallic stage, the splitting of the ego.
Alfred Adler, in 1911, and Jung, in 1913, made their final breaks with Freud over theoretical disagreements and formed their own schools. The first psychoanalytic theory to be developed that broke with Freud's theories while also claiming to further the Freudian tradition was Melanie Klein's, developed between 1930 and 1962. Klein radically revised the Freudian view of the first moments of the formation of the mental apparatus, on the basis of her clinical experience with very young children and her interest in psychoses. Her theoretical model invoked very early stages she referred to as "depressive" or "paranoid-schizoid" positions, and she held that the Oedipus complex originated at a much earlier age than Freud thought. Her opposition to Anna Freud, who insisted on strict fidelity to the spirit and letter of her father's theories, gave rise to several important "controversies" (1941-1945) that determined the orientation of the British Psycho-Analytical Society after the Second World War. Following Klein, Donald Winnicott, Wilfred Bion, and Ronald Fairbairn helped develop British psychoanalytical theory and practice. In the United States a number of derivative psychoanalytic theories came into being, some of which parted ways with classical Freudian theory. The theory of ego-psychology was introduced by Heinz Hartmann, Ernst Kris, and Rudolph Loewenstein, and was for years the major reference point of American psychoanalysis. Heinz Kohut developed a theory of narcissism, and Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan were cofounders of a "culturalist" approach. Erik Erikson's work was also notable.
In France, Jacques Lacan, under the banner of the "return to Freud" in November 1955, proposed new models that in his view could better account for the constitution of the "subject" and the relationship between the subject and the unconscious. The three categories of the real, the imaginary, and the symbolic; the primacy of the phallus; the object a; Borromean knots; and mathemes were so many milestones in an evolving theory that Lacan developed week by week, from 1954 to 1981, in his famous seminars. His idiosyncratic use of the findings of modern linguistics, inspired by Ferdinand de Saussure, of structuralism, and of logical and mathematical models, enabled him to make an audience of even communities like the Catholic Church and the Marxist orthodoxy, which had previously rejected "Freudian doctrine" as "unscientific."
Whether or not psychoanalysis is a science has been debated for years, and the issue reappears regularly in the news. For epistemologists like Karl Popper and a host of other critics, the statements made by psychoanalysis cannot be considered scientific since they cannot be "falsified" and because the theory cannot be "refuted." For Freud, the scientific status of his theory was never in doubt, and he considered his metapsychological hypotheses no more implausible than those of contemporary physics. Psychoanalysis, as far as he was concerned, was a "natural science" ("Naturwissenschaft"). Despite holding a position deemed by some close to "scientism," Freud clearly distinguished his belief in a scientific ideal and the consistency of his hypotheses concerning the unconscious from a Weltanschauung, a "vision of the world" whose totalizing tendencies and illusory nature he feared. In The Question of Lay Analysis, he wrote: "Science, as you know, is not a revelation; long after its beginnings it still lacks the attributes of definiteness, immutability and infallibility for which human thought so deeply longs. But such as it is, it is all that we can have" (1926e, p. 191).
Freud also insisted on the importance of psychoanalysis as a cultural phenomenon and a special instrument for studying and understanding other cultural phenomena. On July 5, 1910, he wrote to Jung: "I am becoming more and more convinced of the cultural value of psychoanalysis, and I long for the lucid mind that will draw from it the justified inferences for philosophy and sociology" (p. 340).
His letters to Wilhelm Fliess already illustrate the extent to which his psychological discoveries provided new insights for the understanding of literature and visual art, and how their study provided him with new ideas or proofs of the correctness of his views. It was Sophocles who provided Freud with the name for his "Oedipus complex," discovered during his self-analysis in October 1897. In 1913 he indicated the fields of knowledge he felt would benefit (1913j) from psychoanalytic concepts. Aside from psychology, he listed the science of language, philosophy, biology, the history of the development of civilization, aesthetics, sociology, and pedagogy.
He confirmed this interaction in the Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis: "In the work of psychoanalysis links are formed with numbers of other mental sciences, the investigation of which promises results of the greatest value: links with mythology and philology, with folklore, with social psychology and the theory of religion. You will not be surprised to hear that a periodical has grown up on psychoanalytic soil whose sole aim is to foster these links. This periodical is known as Imago, founded in 1912 and edited by Hanns Sachs and Otto Rank. In all these links the share of psychoanalysis is in the first instance that of giver and only to a less extent that of receiver" (1916-1917a, p. 167-68).
Despite the charge that Freudian concepts cannot be applied outside the framework of the treatment and notwithstanding the superficial way they have indeed too often sometimes been used, the fact is that "applied psychoanalysis" has profoundly modified our view of literature and the fine arts, of biography, and of sociological and political realities. Freud set the example by the way he approached Wilhelm Jensen's story "Gradiva," Leonardo da Vinci's life, and Michelangelo's sculpture, to mention only a few of his contributions. But on several occasions he expressed his reservations about the value of the psychobiographies produced by some of his followers and successors.
Toward the end of his life his clinical work took a secondary position to his writings on the great problems of religion and culture: The Future of an Illusion (1927c), Civilization and Its Discontents (1930a ), and especially his last work, Moses and Monotheism (1939a [1934-1938]), which expands upon the anthropological ideas he had extensively covered in Totem and Taboo (1912-13a).
Later, the spread of Freudian ideas attracted the interest of writers, artists, and critics, who made use of them to enrich their own work. The Surrealists were among the first, but novelists, painters, and dramatists borrowed from psychoanalysis as well. Created at the same time as cinematography, psychoanalysis has inspired filmmakers from the early days. One has only to think of Secrets of a Soul (Geheimnisse einer Seele), the film G. W. Pabst made in 1926 in spite of Freud's reservations; or of the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Spellbound and Vertigo; or of Freud, the Secret Passion, by John Huston, prepared with the help of Jean-Paul Sartre and released in 1962, in which Montgomery Clift plays the role of Freud; or, for that matter, of the comic treatment of psychoanalysis by Woody Allen.
Throughout the twentieth century, the discoveries of psychoanalysis and its theory of the unconscious have profoundly modified the rules mankind has established concerning its behavior and sexual taboos, its relation to guilt, to femininity, and more generally to other people, about whom a whole new unconscious aspect was now apprehended. Obviously, however, the wide dissemination and renown of psychoanalysis were themselves the product of the twentieth century. Psychoanalysis was inspired and carried along by that century, with its excesses, its political ideologies, its economic and religious ups and downs, and above all, its terrible conflicts, which despite all claims to civilized behavior mobilized the darkest and most barbaric of human impulses just as Freud had understood and feared (1915b, 1933b ).
In so many wayshe liberalization of behavior, the advancement of the status of women (both inside and outside feminist movements and in spite of their virulent criticisms of Freudianism), the dawning recognition of sexual minorities (even though in Freudian theory their preferences have been explained as arrested libidinal development and more or less archaic fixations), a different approach to the subject and its relation to itself and the othersychoanalysis has become a part of everyday life throughout the so-called "Western" world and is not about to simply disappear, despite all the wild swings of fashion.
Its expansion toward other cultural sensibilities, like the multiplication of the often contradictory theories and techniques that claim allegiance to it, as demonstrated by this Dictionary, show that psychoanalysis has never been a dogma or the kind of closed theory caricatured by dishonest critics. In his own time Freud defined those "cornerstones," which seemed to him to provide the foundation that his successors would trace back to him: "The assumption that there are unconscious mental processes, the recognition of the theory of resistance and repression, the appreciation of the importance of sexuality and of the Oedipus complexhese constitute the principal subject-matter of psycho-analysis and the foundations of its theory. No one who cannot accept them all should count himself a psycho-analyst" (1923a , p. 247). Nothing has really changed regarding the basic principles, in spite of the considerable diversity found in theoretical research and methods of practice, which has enriched the great network of the global psychoanalytic movement.
The recent rapid development of the neurosciences does not signal any decline in the value of the listening procedure that psychoanalysis has offered for more than a century in its attempt to understand and treat mental suffering. Apparently contradictory theoretical systems will eventually intersect and enrich each other, and the pessmism of the Cassandras can be answered with Freud's remarks, written in 1914: "At least a dozen times in recent years, in reports of the proceedings of certain congresses and scientific bodies or in reviews of certain publications, I have read that now psychoanalysis is dead, defeated and disposed of once and for all. The best answer to all this would be in the terms of Mark Twain's telegram to the newspaper which had falsely published news of his death: 'Report of my death is grossly exaggerated"' (1914d, p. 35).
ALAIN DE MIJOLLA
Freud, Sigmund. (1912-13a). Totem and taboo. SE, 13: 1-161.
. (1913j). The claims of psycho-analysis to scientific interest. SE, 13: 163-190.
. (1915b). Thoughts for the times on war and death. SE, 14: 273-300.
. (1916-17a [1915-17]). Introductory lectures on psycho-analysis. Parts I and II. SE, 15-16.
. (1923a ). Two encyclopaedia articles. Psycho-analysis. SE, 18: 234-255.
. (1926e). The question of lay analysis. SE, 20: 177-250.
. (1930a ). Civilization and its discontents. SE, 21: 57-145.
. (1933b ). Why war? (Einstein and Freud). SE, 22: 195-215.
. (1939a [1934-38]). Moses and monotheism: Three essays. SE, 23: 1-137.
Freud, Sigmund, and Jung, Carl. (1974a [1906-13]). The Freud/Jung letters: The correspondence between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung (William McGuire, Ed., and Ralph Manheim and R.F.C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Mijolla, Alain de. (1996). Psychoanalysts and their history. International Psychoanalysis: The Newsletter of the IPA, 5 (1), 25-28.
Psychoanalysis (Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior)
Psychoanalysis is an analytic technique originated by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), an Austrian neurologist. It has been altered by his students and their students, in turn, throughout the twentieth century. Psychoanalysis is a theory of the way the mind works: (1) Sequences of thoughts are determinedhey do not occur by chance; (2) Much of our thinking takes place out of awarenesst is unconscious and not easily recovered; (3) The experiences of early childhood, particularly those with important caretakers, continue to have an impact (often unconsciously) on our daily lives; (4) Feelings, both sexual and aggressive, are present at birth and affect behavior. The theory helps us understand something of the addicts' complex motivations and of their inner experience and behaviors.
Psychoanalysis is also a method: It attempts to understand mental processes by free association (following thoughts wherever they lead without selection or censoring) and by the analysis of dreams, fantasies, and behaviors. Psychoanalysts apply this method as a therapy or treatment for certain forms of mental disability.
(SEE ALSO: )
BRENNER, C. (1973). An elementary textbook of psychoanalysis. New York: International Universities Press.
WILLIAM A. FROSCH