The Fall of Psychoanalysis

Freud’s ideas have become part of the fabric of everyday life—yet his methods are going out of favour. Robert Rowland Smith argues that the professionals have got it wrong.

For all its seepage into everyday life, psycho-analysis finds itself routinely denounced, even by those in its intellectual debt. Set aside the practical objections—becoming an analysand involves five sessions a week, at perhaps $100 per session, over many years—psychoanalysis, they say, reduces everything to sex. Worse, it does so in a form that looks misogynistic. As for its being a science, that’s laughable—believing that a fireside chat with a patient about their childhood can disclose the deep structure of the psyche is plain arrogant. Not to mention the potential for planting thoughts in the patient’s mind which happen to prove the theory you set out with.

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