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Question of Lay Analysis

by Sigmund Freud

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In The Question of Lay Analysis he set forth his views on the issue. The book makes its point energetically and in addition serves as an informal popularization of psychoanalytic ideas.



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Should a non-doctor be able to practice psychoanalysis? That is the question Dr. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis seeks to answer. The backdrop to this book is a controversy where a non-medical doctor was chosen to perform psychoanalysis in an association.

“The history of civilization, mythology, the psychology of religion and the science of literature...Unless he is well at home in these subjects, an analyst can make nothing of a large amount of his material.” (p. 94)

Freud argues that in some cases, the great mass of medical information a student would learn in med school is useless in the case of psychoanalysis. He isn’t necessarily taught the aforementioned topics that Freud sees as more important.

Freud speculates that doctors disagree with him on this subject because they seek to have an exclusive right to certain practices, a “look at me I’m important” type of attitude. He shows that there is ability and competence in the analysis method irrespective of a medical doctorate. However, he is not arguing that just anyone can read a book and become a psychoanalyst. However, well-read individuals who prove their worth are certainly capable of performing the method without a medical degree.

Freud did not appreciate the charges of quackery being applied to a fellow member who did not have a medical degree. You could figure that perhaps Freud may have been a bit bias and wanted to defend a fellow member of his group, however, Freud’s clear explanations of Psychoanalysis here are valuable. He writes in almost a frustrated tone near the end on how certain individuals have used his analysis, in America specifically, that are so embarrassing Freud says that it would have been better that the analysis would be better off not existing at all.

I think Freud sufficiently answers his critics here and makes a compelling case that psychoanalysis is more than a medical degree. ( )
  TonyLeeRossJr | May 25, 2020 |
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In The Question of Lay Analysis he set forth his views on the issue. The book makes its point energetically and in addition serves as an informal popularization of psychoanalytic ideas.

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