Psychoanalysis > Quotes

[On Psycho-analysis - continued]

Recognition of the simultaneous presence of the three factors of 'infantilism', 'sexuality' and 'repression' constitutes the main characteristic of the psycho-analytic theory, and marks its distinction from other views of pathological mental life. At the same time, psycho-analysis has demonstrated that there is no fundamental difference, but only one of degree, between the mental life of normal people, of neurotics and of psychotics. A normal person has to pass through the same repressions and has to struggle with the same substitutive structures; the only difference is that he deals with these events with less trouble and better success. The psycho-analytic method of investigation can accordingly be applied equally to the explanation of normal psychical phenomena, and has made it possible to discover the close relationship between pathological psychical products and normal structures such as dreams, the small blunders of everyday life, and such valuable phenomena as jokes, myths and imaginative works. The explanation of these has been carried furthest in the case of dreams, and has resulted here in the following general formula: 'A dream is a disguised fulfilment of a repressed wish.' The interpretation of dreams has as its object the removal of the disguise to which the dreamer's thoughts have been subjected. It is, moreover, a highly valuable aid to psycho-analytic technique, for it constitutes the most convenient method of obtaining insight into unconscious psychical life.

There is often a tendency in medical and especially in psychiatric circles to contradict the theories of psycho-analysis without any real study or practical application of them. This is due not only to the striking novelty of these theories and the contrast they present to the views hitherto held by psychiatrists, but also to the fact that the premisses and technique of psycho-analysis are much more nearly related to the field of psychology than to that of medicine. It cannot be disputed, however, that purely medical and non-psychological teachings have hitherto done very little towards an understanding of mental life. The progress of psycho-analysis is further retarded by the dread felt by the average observer of seeing himself in his own mirror. Men of science tend to meet emotional resistances with arguments, and thus satisfy themselves to their own satisfaction! Whoever wishes not to ignore a truth will do well to distrust his antipathies, and, if he wishes to submit the theory of psycho-analysis to a critical examination, let him first analyse himself.

I cannot think that in these few sentences I have succeeded in painting a clear picture of the principles and purposes of psycho-analysis. But I will add a list of the chief publications on the subject, a study of which will give further enlightenment to any whom I may have interested.

1. Breuer and Freud, Studies on Hysteria, 1895. Fr. Deuticke, Vienna.
A portion of the above has been translated into English in 'Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psycho-neuroses', by Dr. A. A. Brill, New York, 1909.
2. Freud, Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, Vienna, 1905.
English translation by Dr. Brill, 'Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory', New York, 1910.
3. Freud, Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens, S. Karger, Berlin. 3rd edition, 1910.
4. Freud, Die Traumdeutung, Vienna, 1900. 3rd ed., 1911.
5. Freud, 'The Origin and Development of Psycho-analysis',
Amer. Jour. of Psychology, April, 1910. Also in German: Ueber Psychoanalyse. Five Lectures given at the Clark University, Worcester, Mass, 1909.
6. Freud, Der Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewussten, Vienna, 1905.
7. Freud, Collection of minor papers on the Doctrine of Neuroses, 1893-1906. Vienna,1906.
8. Idem. A second collection. Vienna, 1909.
9. Hitschmann, Freud's Neurosenlehre, Vienna, 1911.
10. C. G. Jung, Diagnostische Associationsstudien. Two volumes, 1906-1910.
11. C. G. Jung, Über die psychologie der Dementia Praecox, 1907.
12. Jahrbuch für psycho-analytische und psychopathologische Forschungen, published by E. Bleuler and S. Freud, edited by Jung. Since 1909.
13. Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde. Fr. Deuticke, Vienna.
Since 1907. Eleven parts, by Freud, Jung, Abraham, Pfister, Rank, Jones, Riklin, Graf, Sadger.
14. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse.
Edited by A. Adler and W Stekel. J. Bergmann, Wiesbaden. Since Sept., 1910.

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