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← Freud and psycho-analysis: still useful?

Red Dog's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Red Dog

I'm with your friend who studies neuro-psychology. I received a BS in psychology back in the 70's and at first I expected to learn all about Freud but when I asked a professor he said that no one (at least no one who considers themself a scientist) still teaches Freud except for historical background. If you study the Philosophy of Science you find that Freudianism is literally a text book example of a theoretical framework that is not scientific. Karl Popper was the first person to really clearly show this, that when Freud looked at data he could never find anything that contradicted his theory. If his theory predicted a patient would do X but the patient did the opposite then the patient was having a reaction formation or some other rationalization.

I think its possible that some therapists trained in Freudianism can still benefit their patients. I've worked a bit in the mental health field and in my experiences the best therapists were more like artists than scientists. Some people just have a knack for getting people to talk and knowing when to be supportive and when to confront their patients.

Its really kind of sad that Freud is still taught so many places and even in various intellectual circles (discussions of art and literature) talked about as if he had great relevance to understanding the human mind. In reality he has as much validity as astrology.

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 13:46:17 UTC | #885712