Είναι η Ψυχανάλυση Επιστήμη;


Is Psychoanalysis a Science?

Critique and Defense of Psychoanalysis

Freud on the sofa.

 

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2 thoughts on “Είναι η Ψυχανάλυση Επιστήμη;

  1. Dear Sir/madam,

    Psychoanalysis is not a science and has never been. It is more a religion than a science with Freud as high priest and other psychoanalysts as saints. Nothhing of what Freud has said has been proven under simple research to hold. The worst thing for psychoanalyisis is that the greatest critisism against it has come from psychoanalysts. Examples could include Malinowski (1912) who completely disproved the oedipal complex, Alfred Adler (19070 who proposed a social interest that drives behaviour and Harrystack Sullivan (1922) who also disagreed with Freud’s unconscious motivation concepts. The problems of Psychoanalysis are not mainly philosophical or or scientic (Ekhlaren and Verstehen are good but out of practical scopes) but also theoretical and practical. Some of them can be summarised below:

    1. The existence of the unconscious: There is no scientific or even pseudoscientific evidence for the existence of the unconscious. Freud was never able to put forward a convincing argument about it and carl Rogers (1951) dismissed the idea of it by stating that «The client is aware of the problem and holds the solution to it». Most concepts related to the unconscious are arbitrarily defined by Freud and his daugther with no explanation or description. The unconscious simply does not exist in the sense Freud and Yung put it. There have been numerous pieces of research that have shown that what is called unconscious behaviour is simply automatic behaviour necessary for survival and everyday functioning. Cognitive Behaviourists like Bandura, Mischel and Seligman have demonstrated that people are always aware of their difficulties and this is the actual source of their maladaptive responses.

    2. Freud’s concepts are ill defined and nonexistent. There is no oedipal complex (disproved by another psychoanalyst, no defence mechanisms (disproved by teh former psychoanalyst and father of RET Albert Ellis) no latency or phallic or anal stages. harrystack Sullivan (another psychoanalyst) was very oppositional to the concept of casstration anxiety. In addition, there is significant research that transference and counter transference simply do not exist (Beck, 1984; Kazdin, 1982; Blackham and Silberman;1981). Psychoanalysis therefore has no therapy techniques that can be considered valid.

    3. There has been significant research in the area of Psychoanalysis as Therapy. The most well known research that has put the tombstone on psychoanalysis is the research of Ellis (1977) who found out conclusively that patients who received long term analysis showed no significant improvement over patients receiving no treatment at all. Therefore there is no effectiveness of psychoanalysis as a therapy

    4. Psychoanalysis was always surrounded by myths. freud has achieved a mythical status by simply stating that sex is very important in life. But there is nothing mythical about psychoanalysis. The French psychologist Len writes: «Psychoanalysis is strong because it is based on myths: the myth of the desired mother, the myth of a primal horde the myth of uncontrollable urges that operate inside someone and drives them to pathology». Modern psychologists have proved beyond doubt that psychoanalysis has even no myth at all.

    5. As atherapy is for an elite category of patients (mostly depressed and sexually deprived upper middle class women as Eysenck has put it) and it has no criteria for discharge.

    The above can only lead to the conclusion that psychoanalysis is as useless today as it was in Freud’s time. Psychoanalysis has no scientific basis Watson said, no practical application Thorndike charged no myth Ellis accused.

    Dr. Antonios Chasouris MSc MPhil CPsych MilCert RNZPB
    Specialist Clinical Child Psychologist
    Southland District Health Board
    Invercargill Child Adolescence and Family Service
    Southland Hospital PO Box 828 Invercargill 9840
    New Zealand

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