Psychoanalytic history

“Psychoanalysis is very different [from psychology], and very peculiar. One might even suggest […] that the structure of psychoanalytic history is much more like the history of a religious sect […]. Like a religion, there was a founding father who had a revelation (the existence of the subconscious); he struggled to have the truth of this revelation recognised by a hostile world, and gradually gathered around him a group of followers. […] A canon of set (scared) texts emerged, mostly penned by (or attributed to) the founder and studied continuously down the generations.”

— Stephen Frosh (2012, pp. 16–17), A brief introduction to psychoanalytic theory

One thought on “Psychoanalytic history”

  1. That is really interesting. But also, there are so many people who took psychoanalytic theories that Freud put out there, and ran with them, changing them and adding to them along the way. Those people made different theories, tore apart some parts of older texts and built upon others. Just the fact that you can read books by feminist psychoanalytic writers shows that to be true 🙂 And the folks like Harry Stack Sullivan and Heinz Kohut that took some elements of the older stuff but added their own, built upon it, so that it became more of a castle with some intense roots rather than a religious statue that has never been touched.
    I absolutely adore psychoanalysis, and Freud, and many of the older people that contributed to things before the internet was so widely available. I love how in reading Freud, he is so openly honest about the fact that the things he is thinking should be modified, should be tested, should be proven. So often people act like he was just obsessed with penises when that was so not the case.
    Sorry for the rant 🙂 I appreciate that quote, it really made me think. I am looking foward to looking at more of your blog!

Comments are closed.