Some of Freud's ideas, still relevant, even though science is well known that he was wrong in almost everything

Sigmund Freud died more than 70 years ago, but his ideas still exert a significant influence on the development of science and culture. Now it is proved that the majority of its postulates are untenable, but at the time Freud revolutionized psychology - You can love him or hate him for it, but do not take into account its contribution impossible. Some of his work at the beginning of XX-th century (as it is sometimes called "the century of Freud") bombshell, including those were "The Interpretation of Dreams," "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" and "Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Lectures ».

Psychologist and critic John Kilstrom Freudian approach recognizes that, despite the shortcomings of Freud's concepts in history, there is probably figure that the influence on popular culture could compare with him. Every day we use the words and concepts related to his theories: the clause "according to Freud", sublimation, the Oedipus complex, a phallic symbol, and many others.

Academic psychology today prefer not to rely on Freud as a reliable source of many of his methods and conclusions are subject to merciless criticism and the scientist looks at aspects of sexuality and the issue of homosexuality causes righteous anger of feminist-minded public figures. Many even jokingly distort his name, claiming that in fact it is written as Fraud (in trans. From English. - "Confidence Man"). So what is the great psychotherapist and founder of psychoanalysis was wrong?

The main problem of Freud's concept that there is no scientific evidence to confirm their validity. For example, it does not experimentally proved the idea that boys lusting unconsciously hate their mothers and fathers. His claim to having penis envy, is now also sounds a bit primitive and ridiculous. There is no evidence of the ego and super-ego, there is no empirical evidence that a person in its development passes through oral, anal, phallic and genital stages.

According to feminist and social activist Lily Shea, from Sigmund Freud was quite strange ideas about gender and sexuality:

"Much of the criticism of his theories based on the fact that Freud recognized only one kind of sexual desire - the male libido. In his works, the psychoanalyst called its activity, thus automatically assigning feminine passivity.

Freud speaks of the fear of being subjected to castration, which is always hidden there for boys. In this sense, in his view, girls default suffered irreparable damage, so in them from birth sitting penis envy, but it's not true - I do not think that many women regret that they were not born male. Thus Freud says that there are two ways of getting rid of this envy: she seeks to prove that is not worse than men to cope with the difficult work (masculinity complex) or the birth of a child who, according to Freud, a symbolic substitute for the penis ».

There is no evidence that psychoanalysis and free association method is more effective than other methods of psychotherapy, such as gradual desensitization, assertiveness training or behavioral therapy Skinner (which, incidentally, is directly opposed to their principles of Freudian psychotherapy).

Be that as it may, in some things, Freud was absolutely right: it is for example not mistaken, arguing that we are not masters of our mind - thoughts, actions and experience of human consciousness is not determined and irrational unconscious processes beyond the control of man. Psychoanalysis, he considered a tool by which to study and control these forces.

I must say, Freud was not the first to employ the concept of "unconscious" - he got the idea from a French psychiatrist Pierre Janet. Strong influence on Freud also had his scientific mentor, Jean-Martin Charcot, a famous neurologist who practiced hypnosis. Pupil in their conceptions of the teacher went on, developed a way to appeal to the unconscious - the very method of free association.

Freud's statements about the central role of the unconscious and the subconscious in human mental activity, were recently studied a group of experimental psychologists, present their views in a collection of essays entitled "The boundaries of consciousness».

"He believed that a person has ceased to be a mystery. It forced people to open, with all of their methane, fears and features. He believed that with eyes to see and ears to hear, you can find out everything about a person. I think this is the fundamental idea of ​​its main "- says Michael Roth, an expert on Freud.

Still relevant Freud put forward the concept of defense mechanisms such as denial, rationalization, repression, projection, transference and others. Let Freud gave no convincing scientific evidence now to their existence, most scientists agree.

Freudian interpretation of dreams now seem a bit naive, but that conscious and subconscious desires and fears have a direct impact on our dreams, it is likely to have been right, psychologists believe.

It is important to be aware of how Freud's views were progressive in the context of the time.

For example, a scientist, unlike most of his contemporaries, refused to consider homosexuality a disease, believing it only "retarded" and are not required to accept homosexuals criminals.

In a letter to one American, who asked him for advice about a gay son, the psychoanalyst wrote:

«Homosexuality is certainly not a virtue, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, it is no vice, no degradation, and can not be considered a disease. I think that this change in sexual function due to delays in sexual development. Many respected people in history have been homosexuals, among them Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and others. Chase homosexuals as criminals, unjust and cruel ».


The classic Freudian psychoanalysis is no longer as popular as before, but many people still use it to find peace of mind. For example, Ellen Sachs, Professor of Law, whose case of schizophrenia glorified it to the whole world: a woman telling the public about the details of his illness, and even published a book "The center can not hold," which told about their experiences.

The psychoanalytic method promises to improve or correct the situation, it's just a way to penetrate deeper into the psyche to give people the opportunity to understand their motives and change them. Now, many therapists choose instead to appoint such conversations client antidepressants.

According to psychologist and psychiatrist Drew Westen: "In therapeutic conversations, people sometimes tell us things, testifying in favor of the psychosexual Freudian theory, but now psychologists are hardly used Freudian interpretation, they are more attention is paid to the modern understanding of sex as an important and problematic part of human life and intimate relationships ».

To summarize, the West calls the five basic tenets of Freud, who have not lost their scientific value still: the existence of unconscious mental processes, a greater role conflict and ambiguity in human behavior, the allegation that the foundations of personality are laid in childhood, the effect of mental representations on social behavior and the presence of a person the various stages of mental development.



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