January 12th, 2009

Good marks for Freud?

Long-term psychotherapy, especially of the Freudian type, has gone out of style. Perhaps that’s because we’ve become more impatient these days. Or perhaps it’s due to the fact that psychotherapy seems more an art than a science, and an expensive one at that.

But here’s an article claiming that in many cases Freudian therapy achieves longer-lasting positive results than shorter therapies do. The patients in the two studies cited had been diagnosed with “complex mental disorders” and/or borderline personality disorder (the latter is a problem that is notoriously difficult to treat). Such findings are encouraging for the talking cure, pointing to the fact that shorter and simpler is not always better in the therapy biz.

Of course, this may not matter to the insurers who reimburse for therapy; they’ve been cutting back on coverage for quite some time, for obvious cost-saving reasons. The type of treatment tested in these particular studies—in the second one, eighteen months of individual therapy followed by eighteen months of group—would rack up quite a hefty bill indeed.

However, although the article claims to be about Freudian therapy, it really seems to concern long-term psychotherapy, which is a somewhat different animal. Although Freud’s work is the historic foundation for long-term psychotherapy, it is hardly identical to it, but is instead a small and very specific subset of the genre, practiced by very few therapists today. In fact, I doubt very much that the research cited here investigated classic Freudian therapy at all, although I’d have to go to the studies themselves itself to determine whether that is true.

Freudian therapy had/has a number of very specific techniques with which it is associated, among them the familiar lying-on-the-couch routine. Others are word association and dream analysis. Freud used these tools as the primary ways he tried to get at the underpinnings of patients’ psyches, believing them to be the royal roads to unlocking the ways in which patients were held in thrall to the workings of their unconscious minds and drives.

Let’s take the Freudian couch. It’s been celebrated in popular culture, especially cartoons. Here’s one classic from Gary Larson:

psychiatry-couch2.jpg

Cute. Except that Freud suggested the couch be positioned so that the patient could not see the psychiatrist’s face, the better to foster transference, and to relax the patient and make free-association more free.

Here’s a cartoon than shows the proper placement of both parties:

therapistcouch.jpg

The couches in both cartoons are rather spare. But the couch the historical Freud used for patients in his office was surprisingly and charmingly ornate:

freud-couch.jpg

Note the position of the chair, placed where the patient cannot see the doctor’s face. And here’s one of Freud himself demonstrating, complete with cigar (or is it cigarette?):

freudcouch2.jpg

22 Responses to “Good marks for Freud?”

  1. Artfldgr Says:

    the franfurt school sure put his work to use..
    and despite the lack of his use today, neuroanatomy will comment that the structures he concieved are often what they refer to.

    The neurological legacy of psychoanalysis: Freud as a neurologist.

    I still am of the hypothesis that the mind, the concous, lives inside a model of the world constructed by aliging neurons input with the model.

    its the only mind model that is complete, and can show WHY most mental conditions happen… and why we have such weird outcomes that are functional, and not just break and stop working.

    for instance. not one current theory can detail why we can see ghosts, hallucinate people, or actually normally and without illness not see things that are there in front of us.

    http://www.sicklesinsight.com/experimental-psychology-human-perception/

    Okay, follow these short steps and then we’ll discuss it..

    While watching the following video, ignore the team in black – they are trying to confuse the situation. Count only the number of passes made by the team in white t-shirts. .

    When you are done, click the back button to return to this page with the answers and follow up discussion.

    Alright, go Watch the Video by clicking viscog.beckman.uiuc.edu/grafs/demos/15.html

    i didnt post the rest of the page that will teach you about what just happened. please do not spoil it for others when you comment here.

    one major reason i have come up with this new model is that AI has no real way of getting past where they are unless they do get to this model. basically rather than come up with thousands of models that have to integrate, it all converges on one question and one model…

    if the model has to construct things inside it so that you perceive it… then it can falsely construct such things…

    how does someone like einstein have such insight into things that he couldnt percieve? no model currently answers that.

    but mine does.

    the more the model is built from valid information, the more effective it is at being able to investigage the model and discover things in the real world.

    so thosse more grounded in reality, pull in more details, and so they are more effective… those fed misinformation, information not connected, etc.. their world view is more unreal…

    it explains why too much TV is bad… your brain builds a model that may incorporate and does incorporate false principals which are suspended in film. (like 110 lb women smashing 225 lb men).

    we develop internal relationships with characters.

    we imagine ghosts and super ability because those abilities are how we can engage the system and move about the model without being pinned to the point… this is called imagination…

    the model is built up from childhood within a framework that has noticed that reality is not that varying. that the interactons between us and reality are not really that complex.. (70 something unique plots ring a bell?). so the system can skew inforamation and that can either tune it better or worse depending on context.

    everyones perceptiuon is unique, but not a blank slate.

    when you lose an arm, we are not suddenly incapable and flopping around… but a neural net that had these things as separate key inputs WOULD not behave the way we do… but an internal model would behave exactly like what we get… you would get phantom pain… why? because slicing off the data imput doesnt remove the data from the model. and depending on what the model does, it can call up that and experience through that.

    one of the things i realized about pain managment in this model si that the model negates input, and measures zero… this is important… it cant measure absolutely… so it measures by cancelatio… (why you see ghost images… etc.. stare and move away… thats the measurment by zero.)

    well, the scientist havent figured out that the system ALWAYS feels pain… but it has a zero out level… in other words, the sytem wouldnt work if the system didnt know what was going on. if it was a signal system, then cutting off a part would not hurt as much as it does… but if its keyed off of zeroing out all the signals establishing norm, then cutting somehthing off mitigates all the signals and lo and behold you get pain when no signal should give no pain…

    the point is that the system is adaptable to a point. it can get used to low levels of pain, and even miss it through this…

    illusions can be explained through tis.
    schemas can be explained through this.
    even einsteins ability to infer what is at light speed using sybolics in his model (which could control the ship with the things its incorporated as natural law in its model), because his model was more close to how reality worked as he chose not to poison his well. (though he was abysmal at politics, which hs model didnt incorporate!)

    there is tons more… but i dont have the time… and since i am not a doc or a prof, i dont have the time nor the remuneration to write out these things.

    too busy right now doing some genetic analysis with a genetic expert at the hospital and designing new equipment with him (on top of the other things like photography, and entreprenural stuff… i am a modern rennaissance person. arts, sciences, sports, etc)

  2. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Freud worked with what was said to be a particularly repressed segment of a particularly repressed society living with a particularly sweaty demi-monde in fin de siecle Vienna. Likely a particular kind of thing would be happening.
    Two questions: Are cultural differences sufficiently important that they overcome Freud’s conclusions?
    Can a psychiatrist from, say, India do useful work with an American born here of non-Indian heritage?

    I once went to a hospital emergency room after having been hit in the head with a splitting wedge. That’s about ten inches long and weighs maybe six or seven pounds and is made of steel. I had a split in the skin over my nose, which was pretty bloody. I explained the situation to the Indian doc there. After he poked and poked, I asked him what he was doing.
    He was looking for the wedge.
    Either he comes from a part of India so deforested that wood has to be joined to make something useful, but is never big enough to need to be split, or from a caste which considers even thinking about physical labor unclean.
    In any event, he was unprepared for my problem. Fortunately, having been hit in the head, I was not seriously injured and was able to straighten him out.
    Should we have the similar reservations about a psychiatrist from a different culture?

  3. colagirl Says:

    Interesting post, neoneo. I’m particularly intrigued by the claim that Freudian-style psychotherapy might work better than other forms of therapies would for borderline patients, as I had heard that Freudian-style psychoanalysis was actually ineffective for borderlines or even detrimental to them. (Speaking as someone who has what is probably a borderline in my own family, obviously discussions of this disorder have a great deal of resonance for me–my relative was in therapy for years, and the general consensus of my family was not only did it not help her, but it actually made her worse. I think her therapist was Freudian-style, though I’m not sure.)

  4. Kurt Says:

    I’m a layman, not a psychotherapist, but I have done some reading and training in related subjects. From my limited exposure, it seems that there are as many styles of therapy as there are therapists, perhaps more. Does anyone really practice any particular approach in its “pure” or “standard” form?

    And regarding long-term, as with all things psychological it must be a bear to design a meaningful study. How much of the benefit (as much as has been shown) for long-term therapy is simply the result of repeated interactions with the client that make the client think about their issues, independent of the style of therapy used?

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    freud was basiacally good for people who were normal, but had deviated or acted not undersanding whats going on. he could do nothing for paranoids, schizos, etc… if they really were that way because of organics, and not say stress and fear.

    while the move to psychostrophics denies the blank slate (if we are all the same, then why do some need some drugs and others other drugs? beacuse our genes control our minds ultimately).

    what i think was thrown out was the more common malaise of the normal… (something that in the past would have been helped by the traditional things that we think dont help now, like family, priest, etc).

    if you tie it to logos… (cant remember the guys name, sorry), it maks more sense… that one who is healty can adopt views and practices that are unhealthy and seem to be like mental states where the person who is organically that way, has no choice.

    i think that its here that frueds discussion methods work best… where a bit of insight, enlightenments of tendencies, and such would help to understand events, and put them in perspective, or understand views.

    politically though, freuds work was taken and remoulded by a psych industry that adopted an agenda… and true to that agenda, they are over medicating, among other things as they serve the needs of the state (that pays them) more than the needs of their patients. (see how the elderly are treated now and how they lose their life savings and things… takes complicit psychs in legal areas to do this… an they get their contracts by appointments as they are always trustted to do the right thing (bu the court).

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    Freud and the Frankfurt School
    by Michael Minnicino

    Chorus: B’nai B’rith networks will have a devastating impact on the culture of the twentieth century. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, will be a leading member of the B’nai B’rith lodge in Vienna, Austria, during the twilight of the Hapsburg Empire. Freud later will cordially thank the members of that lodge for their support during his arduous early years in psychoanalysis. Indeed, several members of the lodge will provide the initiating cadre who along with Freud will found the quackery of psychoanalysis. This Freud will be a charlatan and a cabbalist. The anti-Semitism of Freud and of B’nai B’rith as an organization of British intelligence at the expense of Jews will be perhaps most clearly documented in Freud’s last major work Moses and Monotheism. His hatred for creativity and the human mind will be documented in his essay on Leonardo da Vinci, in which he will assert, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, that Leonardo was a homosexual.

    Later, the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research will be founded with the program of merging Marx with Freud. One of the pillars of the Frankfurt School will be Max Horkheimer. After the Second World War, Horkheimer will be instrumental in re-founding and reorganizing B’nai B’rith in Frankfurt. The Frankfurt School will provide the matrix for the youth culture and counterculture of the postwar decades in the same way that Mazzini, the high priest of romanticism, has used his youth cults to shape the first half of the nineteenth century.

    [Note to the reader: The author wishes to point out that in his conference presentation, transcribed below, he was acting out a caricature of a session with a Frankfurt School-trained psychoanalyst, and that the views he expresses are therefore by no means his own. The author also pointed out, during a later question-and-answer period, that there are many other forms of psychological aid which are of great therapeutic value.]

    So, tell me: About how long have you been feeling depressed? …

    Okay, we can come back to that later. If you are going to undergo psychoanalysis with me, perhaps it might be better if I started, and told you how I go about things. I’m not really a strict Freudian psychoanalyst, you know—almost nobody is a strict Freudian these days. But, that is not to say that the old boy doesn’t have his influence. It’s amazing, you know: Sigmund Freud’s scientific credibility was nearly destroyed, but right after World War II, his ideas became the most widely discussed topic in America. Do you know why he became so popular? Because he said that it was okay to be a pessimist; he proved that if you were unhappy, it was okay, and it wasn’t your fault.

    And, I can’t help noticing that you, personally, don’t appear very pessimistic; as a matter of fact, you look rather optimistic. Too much optimism is how a lot of people get depressed: They think they can solve the problems of the whole world; all they have to do is get people to act rationally. If you put too much faith in the power of reason, you are going to fail, and you are just going to make yourself depressed. Sigmund Freud understood that—that down deep, people aren’t reasonable. That is why my old teacher Erich Fromm back in 1970 said that psychoanalysis was really “the science of human irrationality.”

    Anyway, this optimism stuff is 130 years out of date. Let me see if I can remember that poem:

    Ah, love, let us be true

    To one another! for the world, which seems

    To lie before us like a land of dreams,

    So various, so beautiful, so new,

    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

    And we are here as on a darkling plain

    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

    Where ignorant armies clash by night.

    Now, that is pessimism: Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach,” 1859. And you know, people didn’t generally write poetry that pessimistic before 1859. That, by the way, is the same year that Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, the book that really got people to look at the human race realistically. Most people think that Darwin’s book is devoted to evolution. Not really; as a matter of fact, Darwin didn’t even use the word “evolution” in that first edition. The full title tells it all: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Darwin got people to realize that life is not progress or development, but an endless struggle; you can’t be optimistic, because how things turn out is not a question of morality, or a divine plan; it’s a question of biology—over which you and I have very little control.

    Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s good friend, said it best: “I know of no study which is so utterly saddening as that of the evolution of humanity. Man emerges with the marks of his lowly origin strong upon him. He is a brute, only more intelligent than other brutes, a blind prey to impulses … a victim to endless illusions, which make his mental existence a burden, and fill his life with barren toil and battle.”

    This stuff changed the world back in the 1860s and ’70s; everybody had to explain the universe in terms of Darwin. Even Hermann Helmholtz, the mechanist physicist, told his colleagues that the “struggle for existence” was “the highest principle of explanation, in the face of which not even the molecules … and the stars in heaven are safe.” And Sigmund Freud said that the two most important influences on him were Charles Darwin and Hermann Helmholtz. He even tried to study with Huxley in London and with Helmholtz in Berlin.

    Below-the-belt identity

    You see, what Freud did, was take the blind, mechanical forces of biology described by Darwin, and show that they operated on the mind. For instance, some people get the idea that they can help the whole human race; but, Freud told everybody that this was an illusion, like religion. Freud realized that, if you get the idea that you can help all humanity survive and grow, that this idea is actually your own desire to survive and reproduce—your own individual sexual urges—channeled (what we call “sublimated”) into a more socially acceptable form.

    Look at Freud’s case history of Leonardo da Vinci—maybe the greatest combination of artist and scientist of all time. You think Leonardo was moved by some higher purpose? No way—it’s sex! It’s always sex. Freud said: Sex starts even before you’re born; right from the start, you are biologically impelled to explore the physical world; that’s where you get your ideas, from groping around in the world of the senses.

    For centuries people thought that this erotic groping around was a bad thing. Freud helped us understand that this was natural—that you have these erotic instinctual drives, these irrational little demons inside you, and you can’t do that much about it. For most people, this eroticism becomes totally inhibited by religion, or by some other cultural problem; or it gets repressed by childhood experiences and transformed into various kinds of neuroses.

    But Freud said that the reason why Leonardo was such a genius, was that he was one of those rare individuals whose erotic drives became perfectly sublimated; according to Freud, Leonardo effectively never grew up (somewhat like Michael Jackson); and scientific and artistic investigation became Leonardo’s substitute for sexual activity. As old Sigmund said, Leonardo became a complete narcissist, “the ideal homosexual type.”

    Homosexual? No, psychoanalysis understands that homosexuality is not really a perversion; it is just one of the healthy ways of dealing with the irrational drives within us all. Anyway, Freud said that all human beings are naturally bisexual.

    I see that you are somewhat afraid of this subject; perhaps you have never dealt with your own homosexual urges. Don’t worry: We can deal with that problem later on in your therapy.

    You have got to be realistic. It is absurd to worry about universal truths; the only universals are these mechanical forces in your brain and in your pants. And, each person comes up with his or her own, more or less successful way of reconciling these forces with the experiences that you receive in the course of growing up. Why, the whole history of social science—from Freud and almost every psychologist, plus almost all of sociology, and almost all of anthropology—is one great effort to prove that you can’t judge a truth in terms of all mankind; truth is all relative to the individual. And what is more, you have to accept that your mind is not truly free: Biology means that you can never completely control those erotic little demons inside you. So, don’t set your sights unrealistically high: The only thing you can hope to discover—with the help of professionals like me—is how to be well-adjusted.

    Origins of the Frankfurt School
    Well, of course, I can’t prove it!

    Psychoanalysis cannot clinically prove that the unconscious, the id, dream analysis, the Oedipus complex, or any important Freudian concept really exists. Freud said that psychoanalysis is like a religion: You can’t prove it, but you accept it on faith. As a matter of fact, Carl Jung once wrote Freud a letter, suggesting that psychoanalysis start acting as a formal religion; Freud thought that was a bit too premature.

    Actually, I think it was this religious aspect which attracted the Frankfurt School to Freud in the 1930s. I probably should tell you that, like many psychoanalysts today, I came to Freud by way of the Frankfurt School—you know: Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno.

    A Hungarian fellow named Georg Lukacs founded the Frankfurt School because he was trying to determine how to cause massive social changes. Lukacs was specifically interested in developing Bolshevism, but the technique works for any ideology. Lukacs said that you had to make people completely pessimistic; you had to make them believe that they lived in “a world abandoned by God,” as he put it. At the same time, the new social movement that you were trying to create had to have certain key similarities to a religion—but, of course, without a concept of a Supreme Being. In fact, Lukacs seriously investigated the Baal Shem cult, a Jewish cabbalistic sect, as well as several medieval Christian heresies, in order to find what he called the “messianic” ideas which could be incorporated into Bolshevik organizing.

    Freudian theory fit this bill precisely; it was just like going back to the Gnostic cults of the Middle Ages: The demons were back, the evil was being generated in your own mind, and you needed a new priesthood to save you. The Frankfurt School’s extension of Freud was the major reason why psychoanalysis became so influential in American life after World War II. The Frankfurt School helped us all to discover how bad our mental health really was—how we had to liberate ourselves from the authoritarian constraints that made us neurotic; that we must resist the imposition of universal values, and embrace a healthy personal hedonism.

    Fixing up Freud
    Now, as your psychoanalyst, I hate to admit it, but, even though he had a great model for the individual mind, Freud’s social psychology was a disaster. But, the Frankfurt School solved that. Freud had said that the individual human identity was based on the interaction of biology—that is, the instinctual drives embedded in man’s hereditary structure—with the experiences of growing to maturity within the structure of the family. Freud thought all people were more or less the same, because the instinctual drives were the same, and the family structures were more or less the same. The Frankfurt School corrected this by emphasizing that each culture, each people, each race, have important differences in their psychologies, because their differing family structures transmit the ideas of authority, value, morality, in different ways.

    So, if you want to liberate your eros and become healthy, the most important thing is to find what separates one culture, one people, one race, from the other ones. The differences don’t have to be in the genes—I mean, today, very few people will admit publicly that black people are biologically different from white people. But, the Frankfurt School emphasized what Freud only hinted at: Cultural differences transmitted through the family can be as rigid and as powerful as biological differences, and thus they proved that black people are fundamentally different from white people because their cultures are different.

    And a lot of people in this country supported and sponsored the Frankfurt School, because they were able to use Freud’s psychoanalytic theory to demonstrate scientifically that all values must be relative. And this is why, today, everybody—everybody except for a few extremists and religious fanatics—understands that universal values are really authoritarian, and that the family structure has to be changed—maybe even destroyed—to stop imposing these obsolete values on the young.

    The ‘Jewish identity’ project
    Anyway, in the modern world, in the post-industrial society, we can no longer afford this authoritarian sense of power over nature which the patriarchal family transmits; today, the most important aspect of mental health is giving people an identity that will make them happy and erotically satisfied. This was the great original contribution of the Frankfurt School after World War II, when they worked with several Jewish organizations to create a new identity for American Jews. The Frankfurt School said that henceforth, Jewish identity would be defined, not by religious belief, not by the ideas through which Jews contributed to the rest of humanity, but by the Holocaust: Jews would be trained to see themselves primarily as victims of genocide. This has worked fantastically; even today, Jews who think that the B’nai B’rith are a bunch of crooks still give money to that organization because they have been trained to believe that they are profoundly different from everybody else, and that anti-Semites are ready to start a new Holocaust at any moment.

    The Jewish identity project worked so well that we Frankfurt School Freudians asked to do the same thing for black people. In the 1960s, many black people were successfully re-trained to believe that what really defined their identity was how their African ancestors had been enslaved by white people. We did the same thing for women: The feminist movement used Frankfurt School theory and Freud to help millions of women realize that what really defined their identity was male chauvinism.

    You see how successful we have been? Today, we give everybody the identity they need. We even teach it in the schools—it’s called multiculturalism. Everybody gets an identity based on who raped whom: The Latin Americans understand that the most important thing is to get back at the Spanish colonialists; the Native Americans understand that the most important thing is to get back at the whites—everyone separated from everyone else. Fear? hatred? revenge? Sure! We give them that—but we also give them an identity, and they are happy.

    But, we have spent too much time talking about what I think. We should be talking about what you think. But, I see that our time is about up. I think that I can fit you in next week; shall we say Tuesday? A short session is usually $75; you can pay as you leave.

  7. Stphnd Says:

    Wasn’t there a major literary/therapeutics kerfluffle over pro Freudian vs. con Freudian efficacy played out in the pages of The New Yorker Magazine roughly a decade ago? I wonder what those arguments would look like were they to be re-visited today?

  8. Tom Says:

    The problem I have with all talking cures is that they all reportedly work, to some extent. Simple ventilation (talking it out) does. But the rest of medicine has learned about control cohorts in clinical trials, and the gross hazards of retrospective analysis, with all of which Neo is well-acquainted.

  9. rickl Says:

    Some time ago a crazy dream came to me,
    I dreamt I was walkin’ into World War Three,
    I went to the doctor the very next day
    To see what kinda words he could say.
    He said it was a bad dream.
    I wouldn’t worry ’bout it none, though,
    They were my own dreams and they’re only in my head.

    I said, “Hold it, Doc, a World War passed through my brain.”
    He said, “Nurse, get your pad, this boy’s insane,”
    He grabbed my arm, I said “Ouch!”
    As I landed on the psychiatric couch,
    He said, “Tell me about it.”

    –Bob Dylan, “Talkin’ World War III Blues”, 1963

  10. Perfected democrat Says:

    This is wonderful, now that I’ve discovered that my problem is simply that I’m repressing my bisexuality, and in denial of my anger at being rejected from mother’s womb, then raped by the abandonment of my father in heaven before I could be properly inculcated with the defensive mechanisms which lend strength of identity… wow, feel a little better already. However, as a child of the 60’s, though now a confident and glib neocon, I can honestly say I still have a greater regard for Alan Watts and Virginia Satir as more practical and relevant psycologic intellectualizations. Though having indeed morphed into a nasty neocon, much as our notorious and gracious blog hostess here, my heart and rebellious mental longings, and perhaps long-since short-circuited synapses, still wander intrepidly searching for the peace of honest reality to be found in the League of Spiritual Discovery; And that’s no joke…

  11. Elrond Hubbard Says:

    Just checking in. I heard Joe the Plumber was on Pajamas Media. Where do I donate?

  12. FredHjr Says:

    Freud did call attention to the FACT of the unconscious in human behavior and the repression of it. However, his interpretive narratives and archetypes have been surpassed. We still don’t know a lot about human motivation and the unconscious, but a lot of progress has been made.

    Neo, I’m a big fan of Alice Miller, but even Miller’s work is not definitive.

  13. Perfected democrat Says:

    “We still don’t know a lot about human motivation and the unconscious, but a lot of progress has been made.”

    Narcissism, elation, greed, frustration, fear, despondent resignation…

  14. Perfected democrat Says:

    Make that:

    Narcissism, elation, greed, frustration, anger, fear, despondent resignation…

  15. br549 Says:

    As colagirl has touched on, I too have someone who was at one time very close to me who is borderline and bi-polar. A toxic mix for her, my kids, me. As things exploded, it proved dangerous for my kids and I to be around. Sad, really.

    What threw me for a loop was the medical and legal aspects of what occurred after diagnosis of the illness by the “pros” and damage done to my family.

    My ex is very ill, explaining her behavior. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the courts, police, and “brain doctors” excuse is.

  16. nyomythus Says:

    I’m glad my therapeutic days are over … but never say never I guess 😀

  17. dane Says:

    Personally I subscribe to what Descartes said. “Most of man’s problems are caused by his inability to sit alone in a room with his own thoughts”.

    But like everything else – that takes practice.

    And no disrespect to the profession Neo – but I also remember the scene in Crocodile Dundee at the party where he is being explained to about therapy and he says, “back home we just talk to our mates (friends).” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had friends (or even just one) who you could say anything to without fear of being judged and would give you honest answers?

  18. Bugs Says:

    I wouldn’t like Freud flicking his cigar ash on my head while I was free associating. Unless that was part of the therapy.

  19. Bugs Says:

    “Narcissism, elation, greed, frustration, anger, fear, despondent resignation…”

    A typical day in the Civil Service.

  20. rickl Says:

    dane:

    Personally I subscribe to what Descartes said. “Most of man’s problems are caused by his inability to sit alone in a room with his own thoughts”.

    Wow. I have never heard that quote before, and it is really striking that he said it over 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution and the rise of mass media, television, the internet, iPods, video games, cell phones, and the concept of information overload.

  21. Maggie's Farm Says:

    Three links about Psychotherapy…

    Everybody at Maggie’s has seemed too busy to do much writing of his own this past month or so, so we have been throwing up link posts without adding much to them. I am in the same boat at the moment.
    Ars Psychiatrica on The Impossible Profession…

  22. Psychoanalysis reloaded Says:

    May I simply just say what a comfort to find someone that actually
    knows what they are discussing over the internet.
    You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.

    A lot more people should look at this and understand this side of your story.
    I was surprised you are not more popular given that you certainly possess the gift.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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