terça-feira, 15 de março de 2016

Personal view on Psychoanalysis

Melanie Lynskey

     I am somewhat skeptical about psychoanalysis. While I do agree with a lot of it, I'm not much of a fan of Freud's ideas and theories. I think psychoanalysts should outgrow (and many have!) this early and outdated part of its history. I'll explain why.
     Psychoanalytic interpretations of dreams (or any behaviour, really) are, in my opinion, extremely subjective. Sure, there is a set of rules and techniques to be followed, but overall, the psychoanalyst pretty much attributes his own feelings and personal experiences with the observed phenomenon on his interpretations of other people's behaviours. Because of this, it feels as if he doesn't care whatever motives and intentions a person could have had; the only plausible reason is the one that he believes in. Truth be told, one could actually give dozens of different and logical explanations to a specific behaviour, which aren't necessarily wrong unless proven to be  so. 
     It also ignores, almost completely, what the studied individual think or say about his own behaviour. If a child tells you she's afraid of witches, maybe it isn't because the "witch" is a symbol for the mother figure (or anything of that nature) but because she watched or listened to an horror story in the past — not only that, but witches are supposed to be scary!
Another example is about the tendency they have to fixate and exaggerate on simple, often meaningless behaviour. A boy once tells you that he doesn't like bananas. Now, a freudian interpretation of this would be: the banana represents a penis. Eating a banana makes it disappear; therefore, the boy is afraid of losing his penis, of castration. And it's almost impossible to invalidate this interpretation by itself, because to do so you'd need to refute the basic premise which this logic is based upon, the Oedipus Complex. It doesn't matter weather the child finds the taste, texture or appearance of a banana unpleasant or if it's associated with a previous bad experience in the past, only one kind of explanation is admissible! However, if this child didn't like apples instead 
 or any other kind of fruit that doesn't resemble the format of a penis — there wouldn't be much of an analysis to give.
     It's important to note that i'm not saying that psychoanalysis interpretation of behaviours as a whole aren't acceptable, but that analysts should consider (and, if that's the case, rule out) other possible explanations first instead of following the freudian method like a bible.
     Most of the time, psychoanalysts come off to me as a bit arrogant and pretentious. They seem to have an explanation for every behaviour and psychic phenomena. Everything is reduced to sex, sexuality, the Oedipus Complex. By reducing behaviour to very few issues, it gets incredibly easy to explain all of it. But the beauty of science is that it doesn't have an answer for everything, it's that it doesn't assume to be any closer to a definite explanation, and that's what I love about it. Even scientific schools, however, have gotten ahead of themselves and fell into the same hole many psychoanalysts have. Behaviorists, for instance, have tried to explain everything in terms of stimuli and response, of cause and effect. 
     Finally, I guess I have made my point. I have been getting very aggressive towards arrogance recently and I think people ought to find it unacceptable. To finalize, I'll leave you with a famous saying: "Wise is they who know the limits of their own ignorance".