The secret of Psychoanalysis

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Sugg, Alice
Issue Date
MA in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The first chapter will consider the validity of Freud's revolutionary claim that the human person has sexual experience before puberty. The tendency towards amnesia; the forgetting of infantile and early childhood periods, might be considered strange on the basis of so much else that is remembered by the human subject, in part or in whole, but after the first three and even five or six years, memories of that time are entirely missing in a personal history. What is forgotten, why and to what effect? Could it be that such memories remain at the 'back of our mind' and might there be relevance to the Freudian understanding of the unconscious? The next chapter will address the question of the unconscious and its apparent capacity to express itself, seeming to be other than the 'I' who speaks. Sometimes we really don't know what we do or what we say. A link will be made between Freud's understanding of the unconscious that stumbles and Lacan's understanding of the unconscious that speaks - both concur that the unconscious provides interpretable messages. Where Freud seems intent in the case of Dora (chapter four) on finding meaning, Lacan reminds us of the ambiguity of the word. Chapter three provides an overview of Freudian technique. A popular view of the psychoanalyst is of a doctor taking copious notes, looking up from time to time to interrogate or to challenge a way of thinking. The legacy left by Freud is far from that and necessarily so and this chapter will seek to introduce the transference, the unique relationship between analyst and client. A synopsis of the case of Dora is provided in chapter four. This is the first of Freud's major case histories. The material provided, particularly in relation to Dora's dreams, seems to lend support for Freud's theories but his relationship with Dora is fraught with difficulty, impacting their work and after eleven weeks, they part company. Chapter five will consider the requirement of a relationship of a client with an analyst who is seen as a 'subject supposed to know'. The client presents with difficulties and often a need to know that someone knows more than she does and who will have the capacity to provide an answer or a solution. If it wasn't so, who would seek 'help', not understanding the value of psychoanalysis and its technique without a degree of academic knowledge of the subject? This is a necessary relationship but one that must be handled appropriately in that whilst demands will be made on the analyst, these must not be met, and as will be seen, not simply to frustrate the client. The alternative is to allow the development of a relationship that is about identification with the therapist, one illness is exchanged for another and this is allowed to perversely persist. The final chapter will consider the necessary move from the imaginary relationship to the symbolic and why the person will opt for demand rather than desire from the other and from the self. Emphasis will be given to the importance of the transference; The relationship where old patterns of thought and behaviour emerge to be repeated with the therapist, and its purpose.