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Psychoanalysts relate depression back to the loss every child experiences when realizing our separateness from our parents early in childhood. An inability to come to terms with this may leave the person prone to depression or depressive episodes in later life. Treatment then involves encouraging the client to recall that early experience and to untangle the fixations that have built up around it. Particular care is taken with transference when working with depressed clients due to their overwhelming need to be dependent on others.

Shapiro and Emde report that psychodynamic therapies have been successful only occasionally. One reason might be that depressed people may be too inactive or unmotivated to participate in the session. In such cases a more directive, challenging approach might be beneficial. Another reason might be that depressives may expect a quick cure and as psychoanalysis does not offer this, the client may leave or become overly involved in devising strategies to maintain a dependent transference relationship with the analyst.


Fisher and Greenberg , in a review of the literature, conclude that psychoanalytic theory cannot be accepted or rejected as a package, 'it is a complete structure consisting of many parts, some of which should be accepted, others rejected and the others at least partially reshaped. Fonagy questions whether attempts to validate Freud's approach through laboratory tests have any validity themselves.

Freud's theory questions the very basis of a rationalist, scientific approach and could well be seen as a critique of science, rather than science rejecting psychoanalysis because it is not susceptible to refutation.

What Does a Psychoanalyst Do?

The case study method is criticized as it is doubtful that generalizations can be valid since the method is open to many kinds of bias e. However, psychoanalysis is concerned with offering interpretations to the current client, rather than devising abstract dehumanized principles.

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Anthony Storr , the well-know psychoanalyst appearing on TV and Radio 4's 'All in the Mind', holds the view that whilst a great many psychoanalysts have a wealth of 'data' at their fingertips from cases, these observations are bound to be contaminated with subjective personal opinion and should not be considered scientific. Fisher, S. The scientific credibility of Freud's theories and therapy. Columbia University Press.

Fonagy, P. Several entries in the area of psycho-analysis and clinical psychology. Freud, S. Introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. SE, Freud, A. The Ego and the mechanisms of defense. Noonan, J. An obsessive-compulsive reaction treated by induced anxiety. American Journal of Psychotherapy , 25 2 , Prochaska, J.

The psychoanalytic process and its components.

DiClemente The transtheoretical approach: Crossing traditional boundaries of therapy. Homewood, Ill. Salzman, L. Treatment of the obsessive personality. Jason Aronson Inc. Shapiro, T. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association , 39, Svartberg, M. Comparative effects of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy: a meta-analysis. They do not support the idea that development of the personality stops at age 6, instead they believed development spreads across the lifespan.

They extended Freud's work and encompassed more influence from the environment and the importance of conscious thought along with the unconscious. The psychoanalytic approach has a variety of advantages and limitations that have spurred further research and expansion into the realm of personality development.

Psychoanalytic theory is a major influence in Continental philosophy and in aesthetics in particular. Freud is considered a philosopher in some areas, and other philosophers, such as Jacques Lacan , Michel Foucault , and Jacques Derrida have written extensively on how psychoanalysis informs philosophical analysis.

Donald Meltzer

When analysing literary texts, the psychoanalytic theory could be utilized to decipher or interpret the concealed meaning within a text, or to better understand the author's intentions. Through the analysis of motives, Freud's theory can be used to help clarify the meaning of the writing as well as the actions of the characters within the text. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Abstract Does the Oedipus complex exist? The challenges of psychoanalytic developmental theory.

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 50, 19— Oxford University Press, June Personality: Classics theories and modern research. Second Edition. New York. Worth Publishers. The Unconscious. XIV 2nd ed. Hogarth Press, The Interpretation of Dreams. IV and V 2nd ed. Psychological Testing and Assessment. Byrd, and Robert M. Schmitt, and H.

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Jacques Lacan and the adventure of insight: Psychoanalysis in contemporary culture. Harvard University Press, The aesthetics of Freud: A study in psychoanalysis and art. Lane, Allen, Psychoanalytic aesthetics: An introduction to the British School. Karnac Books, Retrieved 17 March History Philosophy Portal Psychologist. Animal testing Archival research Behavior epigenetics Case study Content analysis Experiments Human subject research Interviews Neuroimaging Observation Psychophysics Qualitative research Quantitative research Self-report inventory Statistical surveys.

Aesthetics topics. Section II which deals with the analyst's task and functions and uses clinical material to illustrate aspects of psychoanalysis presented in Section I. This book will be of interest to student psychotherapists, students of child analysis, the analysts and students of the Argentinian Psycho-analytical Society and finally with a research seminar of student and graduate child analysts.

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