what are the major criticisms of psychoanalytic theory

in order to illuminate aspects of literature in its connection with conflicting psychological states. The psychological principles which are used in Psychoanalytic literary criticism were mainly developed by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. Oedipus is one of those things that becomes all the more dangerous the less people believe in it; then the cops are there to replace the high priests. Psychoanalysis, in this regard, greatly depends upon these three parts to analyze someone’s personality or the way someone behaves. Although Sigmund Freud is hailed as the father of psychodynamic theory and has since paved the way for other theorists to formulate different strains, Freuds original theory is not without criticisms. As for the historical approach, many hitherto unknown documents have been Social Cognitive Theory and Its Criticisms. The police on our side!—never did psychoanalysis better display its taste for supporting the movement of social repression, and for participating in it with enthusiasm. Jacques Lacan criticized the emphasis of some American and British psychoanalytical traditions on what he has viewed as the suggestion of imaginary “causes” for symptoms, and recommended the return to Freud. An increasing amount of empirical research from academic psychologists and psychiatrists has begun to address this criticism. Psychoanalytic criticism builds on Freudian theories of psychology. The criticisms of Freud's theory can be grouped into three general categories. Grünbaum argues that psychoanalytic based theories are falsifiable, but that the causal claims of psychoanalysis are unsupported by the available clinical evidence. One other criticism of his theory was directed on his idea of the unconscious mind. As Freud writes in his essay “Psychoanalysis” (1963): It was a triumph for the interpretative art of psychoanalysis when it succeeded in demonstrating that certain common mental acts of Derrida also turns some of these ideas against Freud, to reveal tensions and contradictions in his work. The psychoanalytic theory cannot be adequately tested because it was created in such a manner that the evidence to support the theory could not possibly be refuted. In this field of literary criticism, the major concepts of psychoanalytic theory, such as the idea of an unconscious and conscious mind, the divisions of the id, ego, and superego, and the Oedipus complex, are applied to literature to gain a deeper understanding of that work. Other schools of psychology have produced alternative methods for psychotherapy, including behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, Gestalt therapy and person-centered psychotherapy. Yet it celebrates the side of Freud which emphasises the open-ended and improvisatory nature of psychoanalysis, and its methodical and ethical demand that the testimony of the analysand should be given prominence in the practice of analysis. Psychoanalytic theory postulates a multitude of different change mechanisms, and a host of new ways of conceptualizing the change process continue to emerge as psychoanalytic theories themselves evolve and proliferate. Some find that his psychological approach is a unique way to analyze a piece of art. Mario Bunge, an epistemologist from McGill University, Canada, says that the psychoanalysis is pseudoscience, mostly because of its lack of coherence or correspondence with other well-established branches of science, like neurology, neurophysiology and psychiatry. For example, if a client’s reaction was not consistent with the psychosexual theory then an alternate explanation would be given (e.g. Ricoeur classified psychoanalysis as a hermeneutics of suspicion. Both Freud and psychoanalysis have been criticized in very extreme terms. ”. Academicians repeat it to one Critics stated that the unconscious mind did not consist of hidden or repressed, passionate emotions. Psychoanalytic literary criticism can simply be defined as an approach to literature which aims to apply some of the techniques of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literary works. … The purpose of Derrida’s analysis is not to refute Freud, which would only reaffirm traditional metaphysics, but to reveal an undecidability at the heart of his project. Psychoanalysis, influential method of treating mental disorders, shaped by psychoanalytic theory, which emphasizes unconscious mental processes and is sometimes described as ‘depth psychology.’ The psychoanalytic movement originated in the clinical observations and formulations of … Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Copyright © 2018 Psynso Inc. | Designed & Maintained by. inadequate empirical support. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, in their 1972 work Anti-Œdipus, take the cases of Gérard Mendel, Bela Grunberger and Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, prominent members of the most respected associations (IPa), to suggest that, traditionally, psychoanalysis enthusiastically embraces a police state: “ As to those who refuse to be oedipalized in one form or another, at one end or the other in the treatment, the psychoanalyst is there to call the asylum or the police for help. The theory significantly influenced literary critics as they apply the approach of a tripartite model for analyzing the literary characters and its actions. Psychoanalysis is based on the influence of the unconscious mind on the human behavior. First, critics contend that Freud's theory is lacking in empirical evidence and relies too heavily on therapeutic achievements, whereas others assert that even Freud's clinical data are flawed, inaccurate, and selective at best. It argues that literary texts, like dreams, express the secret unconscious desires and anxieties of the author, that a literary work is a … Exchanges between critics and defenders of psychoanalysis have often been so heated that they have come to be characterized as the Freud Wars. Instead, it was underlying information such as cognition, memory, perception, as well as emotion, but generally not the repressed kind. Among philosophers, Karl Popper argued that Freud’s theory of the unconscious was not falsifiable and therefore not scientific. Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, as a sociological analysis without meaning to criticize, claimed that the institution of psychoanalysis has become a center of power and that its confessional techniques resemble the Christian tradition. A survey of scientific research suggested that while personality traits corresponding to Freud’s oral, anal, Oedipal, and genital phases can be observed, they do not necessarily manifest as stages in the development of children. Common to the modern critics is that they are more familiar than the psychoanalysts with Freud’s writings and life. For one, Freud's theory says that personality development occurs during childhood, but many modern psychologists say that this development is lifelong. Theory of Psychoanalytic Criticism Other commentators, such as Edward Timms, author of Karl Kraus – Apocalyptic Satirist, have argued that Kraus respected Freud, though with reservations about the application of some of his theories, and that his views were far less black-and-white than Szasz suggests. Psychoanalytic theory suggests that conditions like blindness, paralysis, and severe headaches can result from unfulfilled longings that the patient is unable to confront on a conscious level. Dr. Bela Grunberger and Dr. Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel were two psychoanalysts from the Paris section of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPa). Critics of psychoanalytic theory claim that it grossly exaggerates and generalizes human behavior. title = "Feminist criticism and psychoanalysis", abstract = "Feminism, psychoanalysis and literary interpretation have more in common than their early histories might seem to suggest – or promise. Some even accused Freud of fabrication, most famously in the case of Anna O. Most psychoanalytic concepts, such as that idea or unconscious conflicts, cannot be empirically tested. Some theoretical criticism of psychoanalysis is based on the argument that it is over simplistic and reductive, because it reduces everything to the idea that we are all driven by our sexuality and does not take into consideration other factors. Both can be applied alone, and both can combine in numerous ways. The IPa analysts responded accusing the Lacan school of “intellectual terrorism”. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. The papers in this volume contain the essentials of that criticism, especially "The Theory of Psychoanalysis," a lecture series given at Fordham University in 1912. Psychoanalysts have often complained about the significant lack of theoretical agreement among analysts of different schools. These critics of Freud stressed the interpersonal aspect of the analyst-patient relationship (transference), and placed more emphasis on … Karl Popper argued that psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience because its claims are not testable and cannot be refuted; that is, they are not falsifiable. The belief appears to have taken on a life of its own. Criticisms of Trait Theories . However, with the publication of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual much of this lack of cohesion has been resolved. In other words, if it were possible to connect every conceivable experimental outcome with Freud’s theory of the unconscious mind, then no experiment could refute the theory. Like cultural critics and literary scholars, Ricoeur contended, psychoanalysts spend their time interpreting the nuances of language — the language of their patients. For example, Jung’s theories on alchemy as externalized individuation were rooted in Freud’s ideas on projection but factored in culture and spiritual teachings. Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (/ l ə ˈ k ɑː n /; French: [ʒak lakɑ̃]; 13 April 1901 – 9 September 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud". Both Freud and psychoanalysis have been criticized in very extreme terms. I too find it hard to believe that all mental problems are the direct result of unresolved Oedipal and Electra complexes. Ricoeur claimed that psychoanalysis emphasizes the polyvocal or many-voiced qualities of language, focusing on utterances that mean more than one thing. Many authors have attempted to integrate the various theories, with limited success. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Sigmund Freud had major critics for his psychoanalytic theory right from the beginning. Sigmund Freud's psychosexual theory and Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory are two main psychoanalytic theories. For one, Freud's theory says that personality development occurs during childhood, but many modern psychologists say that this development is lifelong. Freud presented a structural model of a human personality. These studies also have not confirmed that such traits in adults result from childhood experiences (Fisher & Greenberg, 1977, p. 399). The second main criticism of psychoanalysis, according to the author, is that Freud's theory is sexist and places too much emphasis on sex in general. Critics may view the fictional characters as psychological case studies, attempting to identify such Freudian concepts as the Oedipus complex, Freudian slips, Id, ego and superego, and so on, and demonstrate how they influence the thoughts and behaviors of fictional characters. psychoanalysis: Criticisms of and Changes in Freudian Psychoanalysis. Freud’s psychology based analysis of Michelangelo’s Moses has received attention from several critics. […] notice of the dominant tone in the most respected associations: consider Dr. Mendel and the Drs Stéphane, the state of fury that is theirs, and their literally police-like appeal at the thought that someone might try to escape the Oedipal dragnet. People like the Freudo-Marxist Wilhelm Reich redress this, as does Carl Gustav Jung by factoring in economic and political factors (such as relationship to the means of production in the case of Reich), culture and ideas like the paranormal in the case of Jung respectively. Popper did not object to the idea that some mental processes could be unconscious but to investigations of the mind that were not falsifiable. This, in my opinion, is a gross exaggeration and overgeneralization. Other feminist scholars have argued that Freud opened up society to female sexuality, with French feminism based on psychoanalysis. These tensions are the conditions upon which Freud’s work can operate. Psychoanalysis, or at least the dominant version of it, has been denounced as patriarchal or phallocentric by some proponents of feminist theory. One of the keystones in psychoanalytic theory is the concept of the unconscious. How to Build Trust in a Relationship Using CBT? René Laforgue reported Martha Freud saying, “I must admit that if I did not realize how seriously my husband takes his treatments, I should think that psychoanalysis is a form of pornography.” To Martha there was something vulgar about psychoanalysis, and she dissociated herself from it. One of the criticism is that analytical psychotherapy is like a religion worship, according to McGowan(1974), in What’s Wrong With Jung, examines the lack of proof and scientific research in Jungian psychology. He pigeonholed human personality into Ego, id and the superego. In November 1968, disguising themselves under the pseudonym André Stéphane, they published L’univers Contestationnaire, in which they assumed that the left-wing rioters of May 68 were totalitarian stalinists, and psychoanalyzed them saying that they were affected by a sordid infantilism caught up in an Oedipal revolt against the Father. According to Marie Bonaparte, Martha was upset with her husband’s work and his treatment of sexuality. Freud's psychosexual theory centered around sexual drives. As the psychoanalytic researcher Drew Westen puts it, “Critics have typically focused on a version of psychoanalytic theory—circa 1920 at best—that few contemporary analysts find compelling. For example: class, political ideology, ecosystem or even spirituality. The Unconscious, the Desires, and the Defenses Criticism of Psychoanalysis. Freud’s insistence, in the first chapter of The Ego and the Id, that philosophers will recoil from his theory of the unconscious is clearly a forbear to Derrida’s understanding of metaphysical ‘self-presence’. Making the unconscious conscious. Strong criticism of certain forms of psychoanalysis is offered by psychoanalytical theorists. Freud believed that development occurred in stages. Why embracing pain, discomfort, or suffering, is a need for happiness? defense mechanisms, reaction formation). overemphasizes biology and unconscious forces. Some post-colonialists argue that psychoanalysis imposes a white, European model of human development on those without European heritage, hence they will argue Freud’s theories are a form or instrument of intellectual imperialism. They use the sam… modern psychologists believe Freud's underestimated the role of learning and culture in shaping personality. One of the strengths of psychoanalytic theory is that it gives patients the opportunity to talk about problems with a professional, which could help relieve symptoms of psychological illness, according to About.com. Many argue that this theory is (a) sexist, (b) deterministic, (c) not sensitive to diversity, and (d) lacking in scientific evidence. (Borch-Jacobsen 1996). Jacques Derrida incorporated aspects of psychoanalytic theory into deconstruction in order to question what he called the ‘metaphysics of presence’. Karl Popper argued that psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience because its claims are not testable and cannot be refuted; that is, they are not falsifiable. The trait theory is hard to judge using personality tests because behaviors change in … Freud’s psychoanalysis was criticized by his wife, Martha. process, psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy, meta-analysis T here is a belief in some quarters that psychodynamic concepts and treatments lack empirical support or that scientific evidence shows that other forms of treatment are more effective. For example, the philosopher Paul Ricoeur argued that psychoanalysis can be considered a type of textual interpretation or hermeneutics. Gérard Mendel, had instead published La révolte contre le père (1968) and Pour décoloniser l’enfant (1971). One of the largest criticisms of the psychoanalytic theory is that it places far to much emphasis on childhood. 1One finds in the history of psychoanalysis a particular pattern of justifying departures from traditional theory and practice by initially limiting claims of their applicability only to a particular class of patients and retaining traditional theory for the other “usual” patients. Others find his analysis flawed based on Biblical references. GAVS_APpsych_Personality_James_Ballard_Davis. A form of literary interpretation that employs the terms of psychoanalysis (the unconscious, repression, the Oedipus complex, etc.) By this he meant that psychoanalysis searches for deception in language, and thereby destabilizes our usual reliance on clear, obvious meanings. Frank Cioffi, author of Freud and the Question of Pseudoscience, cites false claims of a sound scientific verification of the theory and its elements as the strongest basis for classifying the work of Freud and his school as pseudoscience. The book Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus’s Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry, originally published under the name Karl Kraus and the Soul Doctors, portrayed Kraus as a harsh critic of Sigmund Freud and of psychoanalysis in general. One of the largest criticisms of the psychoanalytic theory is that it places far to much emphasis on childhood. However, there is no clean break between the theories of Freud and Jung. What is crucial to modern psychoanalytic theory and practice is the power of the unconscious and the transference phenomenon. The theory believes traits do not change from situation so people are the same at all times. pointing the way toward the development of psychoanalytic criticism. The trait theory is criticized for its generality because the theory doesn't believe traits change over time. Two later papers-"Freud and Jung: Contrasts" and the introduction to a book by W. M. Kranefeldt-together form a basis for further study of Jung's reassessment of psychoanalysis. The idea of “unconscious” is contested because human behavior can be observed while human mental activity has to be inferred. Noam Chomsky has also criticized psychoanalysis for lacking a scientific basis. Some proponents of psychoanalysis suggest that its concepts and theories are more akin to those found in the humanities than those proper to the physical and biological/medical sciences, though Freud himself tried to base his clinical formulations on a hypothetical neurophysiology of energy transformations. The idea of unconscious, and the transference phenomenon, have been widely researched and, it is claimed, validated in the fields of cognitive psychology and social psychology (Westen & Gabbard 2002), though a Freudian interpretation of unconscious mental activity is not held by the majority of cognitive psychologists. In fact, one of the main criticisms of psychoanalysis has been, according to some authors, the closed and excessively dogmatic nature of this trend, which from the beginning provoked clashes between Freud and some of his closest collaborators, such as Otto Rank or Eugen Bleuler; the latter compared the movement to a religious community. Orthodox Freudian psychoanalysis was challenged in the 1920s by Otto Rank, Sandor Ferenczi, and Wilhelm Reich; later, in the 1930s, by Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, and Harry Stack Sullivan. Peter Medawar, an immunologist, said in 1975 that psychoanalysis is the “most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of the twentieth century”. 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