What Is Psychoanalysis?

It began, of course, with Freud. Psychoanalysis refers both to a theory of how the mind works and a treatment modality. In recent years, both have yielded to more mainstream, research-driven approaches, but psychoanalysis is still a thriving field.

Belief in the primacy of the unconscious fantasy, sexual desires (libido, penis envy, Oedipal complex), and dreams has wavered. But Freud also identified such basic mental maneuvers as transference, projection, and defensiveness, and demonstrated how they distort our functioning. As a treatment based on extended self-exploration, psychoanalysis has evolved beyond the silent-shrink stereotype.

Neuropsychoanalysis is an up-and-coming subfield that aims to wed the insights of Freudian psychology and its emphasis on subjective experience with neuroscientific findings about brain processes.

Recent posts on Psychoanalysis

Dealing With Feelings

"Minimize affect inhibition... Maximize positive affects… Minimize negative affects.” — Silvan Tomkins

Can You Lie to Your Lover?

For a relationship to work, must we always tell the truth?

Why We Care Whether the Earth Is Flat

Much of life is Jeopardy, not Family Feud. We want to know the actual state of affairs, not what the survey says.
Courtesy of Max Pixel

Are We Doomed to Repeat Our Relationship Patterns?

Do the attachment styles we develop in childhood inevitably shape our adult relationships? And if so, can they be changed?

The Meaning of Adam and Eve

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 18, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Was the fall from Eden a price worth paying?

Energizing Jung's Ideas About Synchronicity

Why spend a lifetime studying Jung's ideas about synchronicity? Professor Roderick Main is doing just that and, in this guest post, explains why.

Do You Worry?

Worry is an ordinary part of human experience: a protection from danger, a sign that we care, and a struggle to face the inevitable uncertainties of life.

Attending to the Unconscious in a Psychotherapy Session

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on March 15, 2017 in Full Living
Lots of folks can offer counsel to our clients. Our job is to help them access clues from their unconscious about the turmoils of their soul.

Admissions (and Job) Interviews in Clinical Programs

The selection process is a window into the program’s vision of what psychology is.

Road Rage: It's Only Personal If You Make It So

Feeling the impulse to retaliate against rude driving is normal. But here are some ways to keep your cool.

Is Gabor Maté Sacrosanct?

By Stanton Peele on March 06, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Gabor Maté's trauma-based approach to addiction, and his workshops, have their own traumatizing effects.

Impact of the I Ching on Carl G. Jung & its implications

Cross-cultural information and knowledge exchange, contacts, and influences have transformed the field of psychology. Taoist psychology is an inspiration for Jungian psychology.

Anger: A Misunderstood Feeling

If curiosity, or interest, is the most under-appreciated feeling, anger may be the most misunderstood.

3 Myths About Men and Eating Disorders

Not an #AlternativeFact. Men do struggle with eating disorders

Is There a Fascist Impulse in All of Us?

I am slowly succumbing to the disturbing conclusion there is.

Deep Memories of Insects

By Jeffrey Lockwood Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in The Infested Mind
What creatures infest the dark recesses of the mind?

Emotional Trauma, Context, Authenticity

Emotional trauma discloses painful truths about our existential vulnerabilities.
Used with Permission, Wellcome Library, London

How to Find the Heart of the Soul

Is there a difference between mind and soul?

Donald Trump: Is He as Unpredictable as He Seems?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
Writers have struggled to figure out just what is guiding our new President’s decision-making. This post should illuminate a subject that may have made you wonder, too.

Is Neuroscience the Future or the End of Psychology?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in Talking Apes
Neuroscience has become the dominant paradigm in psychology. Some think it will even replace psychology altogether.

The Curious Human

Interest is crucial to our learning, exploratory activities, and creativity. But what happens when this feeling of interest or curiosity is squashed…

Is APA Ruining Clinical Training?

Extensive requirements leave little time to reflect.

Psychosomatic? No, my Stomach Really Hurts!

Today’s post is brought to you by my stomachache. My wife says I’m just being psychosomatic, but what does that even mean?

Psychoanalysis Unplugged: Let the Music Begin!

Want to understand why we do the things we do? Welcome to a different kind of psychoanalysis.

Adolescent Depression: Early Mental Health Services Are Key

By Christopher Bergland on January 19, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Young teenagers with depressive symptoms—who make contact with mental health services—are seven times less likely to develop major depressive disorders later in life, study shows.

A Case Formulation for Tony Soprano

The meaning of the final scene in The Sopranos is that the simple moments of life have been ruined by the legacy of violence.

As Above, So Below—a Sky-Brain Coincidence

Our brains are immersed in atmospheric electromagnetic currents whose spectrum is similar to the spectrum of our brain waves.

Loving Pizza

Freedom, tradition, and erectile dysfunction

Efficacious Acts of Mind

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on January 10, 2017 in This Is America
Humanistic insights can help create an environment that facilitates a person's ability to change his sense of possibilities, change the possibilities, and thereby change himself.

Voting for the Magic Wand, or Trump's Phallic Victory

By Lawrence D. Blum M.D. on January 09, 2017 in Beyond Freud
Voters are influenced by powerful fantasies that pundits don't talk about.