quotations about psychoanalysis
No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.
SIGMUND FREUD, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
Psychoanalysis has taught that the dead -- a dead parent, for example -- can be more alive for us, more powerful, more scary, than the living. It is the question of ghosts.
JACQUES DERRIDA, New York Times Magazine, January 23, 1994
Psychoanalysis pretends to investigate the Unconscious. The Unconscious by definition is what you are not conscious of. But the Analysts already know what's in it. They should, because they put it all in beforehand. It's like an Easter Egg hunt.
SAUL BELLOW, The Dean's December
Where id is, there shall ego be.
SIGMUND FREUD, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
The ego is not master in its own house.
SIGMUND FREUD, A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis
I'm not a big fan of psychoanalysis: I think if you have mental problems what you need are good pills.
STEPHEN KING, interview, September 14, 2000
In psycho-analysis nothing is true except the exaggerations.
THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia
On the one hand, psychoanalysis is practical in the sense that there is an attempt to solve a problem, or to cure somebody, or at least to address their suffering. But the other thing that psychoanalysis does is that the project is to enable somebody to speak. It's the attempt to create the conditions in which somebody can speak themselves as fully as possible.
ADAM PHILLIPS, "Poetry as Therapy", The Guardian, March 29, 2012
Psychotherapy is a cyclical process from isolation into relationship. It is cyclical because the patient, in terror of existential isolation, relates deeply and meaningfully to the therapist and then, strengthened by this encounter, is led back again to a confrontation with existential isolation.
IRVIN D. YALOM, Existential Psychotherapy
Psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love.
SIGMUND FREUD, letter to Carl Jung, 1906
As a practice and sensibility, psychoanalysis remains attuned to superficiality; it constitutes a search for depth on the surface of things.
AKIRA MIZUTA LIPPIT, Atomic Light
I always say that a successful parent is one who raises a child so that they can pay for their own psychoanalysis.
NORA EPHRON, The Guardian, June 26, 1995
Psychoanalysis provides truth in an infantile, that is, a schoolboy fashion: we learn from it, roughly and hurriedly, things that scandalize us and thereby command our attention. It sometimes happens, and such is the case here, that a simplification touching upon the truth, but cheaply, is of no more value than a lie. Once again we are shown the demon and the angel, the beast and the god locked in Manichean embrace, and once again man has been pronounced, by himself, not culpable.
STANISLAW LEM, His Master's Voice
Psychoanalysis is unlikely to be repealed; people are not going to go back to reading novels in order to understand themselves and their lives.
GEOFFREY NUNBERG, The Decline of Grammar
Psychoanalysis is often about turning our ghosts into ancestors, even for patients who have not lost loved ones to death. We are often haunted by important relationships from the past that influence us unconsciously in the present. As we work them through, they go from haunting us to becoming simply part of our history.
NORMAN DOIDGE, The Brain That Changes Itself
[Psychoanalysis] turned out to be psychology without the psyche, i.e., without the soul. Freud just did not give a satisfying account of all the things we experience. Everything higher had to be a repression of something lower, and a symbol of something else rather than itself.
ALLAN BLOOM, The Closing of the American Mind
There is considerable danger that psychoanalysis, as well as other forms of psychotherapy and adjustment psychology, will become new representations of the fragmentation of man, that they will exemplify the loss of the individual's vitality and significance, rather than the reverse, that the new techniques will assist in standardizing and giving cultural sanction to man's alienation from himself rather than solving it, that they will become expressions of the new mechanization of man, now calculated and controlled with greater psychological precision and on a vaster scale of unconscious and depth dimensions -- that psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in general will become part of the neurosis of our day rather than part of the cure.
ROLLO MAY, The Discovery of Being
It is almost always the case that whatever has wounded you will also be instrumental in your healing.
ROBERT A. JOHNSON, She: Understanding Feminine Psychology
Although psychology and pedagogy have always maintained the belief that a child is a happy being without any conflicts, and have assumed that the sufferings of adults are the results of the burdens and hardships of reality, it must be asserted that just the opposite is true. What we learn about the child and the adult through psychoanalysis shows that all the sufferings of later life are for the most part repetitions of these earlier ones, and that every child in the first years of life goes through and immeasurable degree of suffering.
MELANIE KLEIN, attributed, Becoming Attached: First Relationships and how They Shape Our Capacity to Love
Freud is the father of psychoanalysis. It had no mother.
GERMAINE GREER, The Female Eunuch