Fundamental Conceptions of Psychoanalysis

Fundamental Conceptions of Psychoanalysis

Fundamental Conceptions of Psychoanalysis

Fundamental Conceptions of Psychoanalysis

Excerpt

There are a number of misconceptions concerning psycho. analysis, some of which at least I would like to clear up. In 1908, when I first introduced psychoanalysis into this country, I addressed myself primarily to the medical profession, for psychoanalysis was developed by Prof. Freud while he studied the border-line cases of mental disturbances, and my interest was merely that of a psychiatrist who vainly tried to help such patients and finally found in psychoanalysis the most valuable instrument for the treatment and exploration of the mind. But even then it was realized that the subjects treated by psychoanalysis went far beyond pure medical spheres, for when a human mind was entered for the purpose of studying the origin of an abnormal manifestation, all his normal mental and emotional expressions had to be considered. In the course of many years Prof. Freud thus solved the mysteries of dreams, wit, mythology, fairy tales, and threw much light on the history of civilization and on the development of religion and philosophy, -- subjects and phenomena which, strictly speaking, do not belong to abnormal states. It was therefore quite natural to expect that persons interested in the above mentioned subjects would be attracted also to psychoanalysis, and a review of the very extensive psychoanalytic literature shows that it not only drew to itself the attention of the medical profession but also that of the psychologist, educator, and serious minded lay-

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