Psychoanalysis and the (Crazy) Modern World

I just came across a very interesting article that serves as a good introduction and argument for psychoanalysis today. The article (click here) is found on Australia’s ABC news as part of a feature that they call “All in the Mind.” The piece, along with an accompanying podcast, makes interesting points about the validity of psychoanalysis (and psychoanalytic psychotherapy) in the modern world.

I would add and elaborate on a couple of points.

The article quotes an Australian analyst about the holistic nature of psychoanalysis: ‘One of the distinguishing features of psychoanalysis is that it focuses on people’s experience rather than just their behavior.” While some current psychotherapies focus either on a person’s behavior or thoughts, psychoanalytic investigation is of the whole person. Psychoanalysis concerns a person’s emotions, belief systems, fantasies, desires, and of course thoughts and behaviors. It also concerns what is called the unconscious: that realm of human experience that is hard to know but none the less felt and at times highly influential on what a person says or does. Psychoanalysis also concerns the human body. Freud, when discovering psychoanalysis, said that the “Ego is a bodily ego.” His focus was squarely on the person’s body as well as the mind. And while much has changed since the invention of psychoanalysis, there is still this holistic focus on what makes up this particular human being.

I would add that psychoanalysis is an especially suitable treatment during this modern age of expedience, quickness, rushing around and near-mania. Given the emphasis on speed, from faster internet connections to the quickest routes to drive, it is therapeutic to have a space where the idea is to take one’s time. Psychoanalysis involves slowing down and tuning into ones experience, including one’s inner world. There is not much chance for doing that otherwise. The article quotes another analyst as saying “there must be space for that personal inner life.”

I think people will enjoy reading the article and listening to the accompanying podcast. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or interest in psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

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