Thursday, November 29, 2018

Freud and his psychiatric narratives

Freud was a consummate writer and had a brilliant literary style. In 1930, he was presented with a Goethe Prize for ‘literary achievement’ and received a $2.5k stipend. That would equate to $36,694.61, today. Freud’s psychiatric narratives were frequently dismissed by his critics as ‘fairy tales,’ and the author too, quietly feared they were light, compared to hard science. Freud was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Medicine several times but never won the honour.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Freud on pets

Freud was an animal lover later in his life and became attached to an Alsatian called Wolf, which belonged to his daughter, Anna. He was presented with chow dog called Lin Yug by a grateful patient and was so charmed he wrote to his colleague Max Eitingon (1881 – 1943) on how much pleasure the dog had brought him. Lin Yug was the first of a succession of chows Freud kept as pets and sat at the foot of the couch during analytic sessions.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Freud and psychoanalytic theory

Whilst Freud remains a key figure in the history of psycholanalytic history several generations of analysts male, and female, have rejected key Freudian tenents and proposed their own new theories. The psychoanalytic movement has always been a hot bed for theoretical disagreement and opposing schools of thought, and in all probability, controversy and theoretical conflict will continue to rock the psychoanalytic world.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Freud and feminists

Feminists in the 60s and 70s took great exception to Freud's 'peno-centric theories', including 'penis envy,' and fallacious notions of genital and moral inferiority. Female psychoanalytic thinkers have since made convincing cases to retain some of the best Freudian ideas such as the unconscious, the importance of dreams, and defense mechanism. They have also broadened the scope of analytic thought by introducing greater emphasis on the importance of mothering in the construction of the self.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Freud on women and penis envy

By Victorian standards, Freud's thinking on woman was considered liberal. In his consulting roms he encouraged his female patients to speak their minds freely and explore their unconscious. In the bedroom he thought women were entitled to full sexual satisfaction. Despite these liberalising tendencies, conceptually he enclosed women in a biological scheme of thought that effectively reinforced Victorian patriarchal values. He regarded women as morally inferior and intellectually second rate, believing they suffered 'penis envy,' a desire to have power and authority symbolised by the male organ.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Freud and a suitable case for treatment

Freud classified his patients into two groups. Those who could be analysed and those who could not. The former suffered neuroses such as, hysteria and obsessive compulsive behaviours. These patients were capable of forming amicable relationships with the analyst that helped them through their conflicts. During treatment the patient's conflicts are localised and a rapport is reached with the analyst. Freud called this transference, but sometimes this is aggressive or erotic in nature, in which case the transference itself needs to be analysed. The latter represent people with severe psychoses which prevents them from forming a critical relationship with the analyst. 'Narcisstic' individuals considered themselves as their primary object of concern.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Freud on himself

When he was an older man, Freud liked to portray himself as a mystical figure, an isolated and embattled genius struggling to discover eternal thruths, fundamentally antithetical to his times. He believed the psychoanalytical corpus was fundamentally and exclusively his intellectual property. He continued to minimise the contributions of fellow psychiatric collaborators, as well as extrinsic influences, such as culture and politics. Freud's ideas was related to his contemporaries and there is no evidence Freud experienced much difficultly publishing his articles. While his ideas were initially alien to the public, by the end of his life, they were popularly received.