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← Freud and psycho-analysis: still useful?

ewaldrep's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by ewaldrep

This is an interesting post. I am a fourth year clinical graduate student in psychology, specializing in posttraumatic stress disorder. As far a Freud goes, he is taught mostly as historical but there is still quite a bit of his influence along the east coast of the US. Many people tend to criticize him harshly but he was before Popper’s influence on the philosophy of science, and on a lot of cocaine . In addition, his theories changed over the years and did evolve from a more neurological perspective into the psychoanalytic that he is most remembered for.

For most practicing clinicians, Freud’s methods are not used and have been replaced by cognitive behavioral approaches. As Red Dog noted above, clinical work is like art and a good clinician will introduce things that will help the patient and if that happens to be a defense mechanism described by Freud, then it may be worthwhile (see Persuasion and Healing, book).

Some research still uses some of the idea’s influenced by Freud, such as implicit biases (replacing unconscious motivations) that are used in social psychology. There are some influences in Terror Management theory as well, to list a couple. The research is empirical and is peer reviewed and critiqued as well it should.

As far as neuropsychology, I am also being trained in that field as well. Neuropsychology is different insofar as we test domains of functioning within the brain to determine compromised brain systems and help develop strategies to overcome them. However, neuropsychology and clinical psychology do not overlap quite as much as one would think. It has provided a vast amount of data and improved, and will continue to improve, our understanding of how the brain functions and how we interpret the world around us. I hope to continue to do more research in this area, particularly mTBI and PTSD myself.

I hope this helps some but please let me know if more would be helpful.

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 19:51:33 UTC | #885810