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I've mentioned the author Frederick Crews a few times on OL** ... and now I am ploughing steadily through his book "Freud, the Making of an Illusion." It's the kind of book people reserve the word 'magisterial' for, so far. The subject is Freud's story-telling, in essence, and the divergence from the actualities. Crew is the first to exploit the new availability of previously censored or suppressed materials. He has previously rubbished mythic Freud in some earlier work referred to by the lesser term "tour-de-force." What will appeal to the Objectivist or Objectivish is the hard line, the hard line for reality trumping bullshit. Crews was the first to achieve a kind of encyclopedic knowledge of the Freudian-derived Recovered Memory movement and its associated Satanic Ritual Abuse allegations, trials and injustices. He was able to 'wrap it up' like a good prosecutor, with an at-my-fingertips-knowledge of what went down where and when and how and why. A good taste of what would be to come were you to purchase or borrow the book comes from its Preface, which I quote from (you can also Look Inside at Amazon): Among historical figures, Sigmund Freud ranks with Shakespeare and Jesus of Nazareth for the amount of attention bestowed upon him by scholars and commentators. Unlike them, he left behind thousands of documents that show what he was doing and thinking from adolescence until his death at age 83. Although many of those records were placed under lengthy restriction by followers who felt both financial and emotional incentives to idealize him, that blackout has at least partially expired by now. More revelations will emerge, but they are unlikely to alter the outlines of Freud's conduct and beliefs as they appear in the most responsible recent studies. [...] Of course, hardcore partisans can be counted upon to dismiss this book as an extended exercise in Freud-bashing -- a notion that gets invoked whenever the psychoanalytic legend of lonely and heroic discovery is challenged. To call someone a Freud basher is at once to Shield Freud's theory from skeptical examination and to shift the focus, as Freud himself so often did, from objective issues to the supposedly twisted mind of the critic. Like other aspects of Freudolatry, the charge of Freud bashing deserves to be retired at last. The best way to accomplish that end, however, is just to display the actual record of Freud's doings and to weigh that record by an appeal to consensual standards of judgment. _________________________________ ** totalismCult Warning Signs william.scherk posted a blog entry in Friends and Foes ...One of the many astute chroniclers of this time wasFrederick Crews, whose "The Memory Wars" still stands out above the rest. I note in passing his most recent book, a stunning tour de force in my opinion. See Freud: The Making of an Illusion. I have mentioned his work a couple of times here... January 12 30 comments Solving a Puzzle-- Understanding Some People's Reactions william.scherk replied to Philip Coates's topic in Objectivist Living Room ...ThenFrederick Crews saved me. He let me see that crashing through the Dominant Discourse of Freudian Bullshit was a dangerous job. Those who had peddled that shit all the years were deadly opposed to being pushed off their thrones, their departmental thrones, their kingdoms of influence and tenure... January 30, 2012 358 replies Emotions as products of Ideas william.scherk commented on nealelehman's blog entry in neale's Blog ...readFrederick Crews on Freud/psychoanalysis, anything you can get by Allen Esterson, Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Frank Cioffi, and the very interesting current-philosophical-outrages site Butterflies and Wheels , a British site that is part of my regular reading. My favourite living philosopher is Susa... June 30, 2007 6 comments
I like the idea of therapy in theory - psychology is certainly important to understanding ourselves and the world around us - but I'm left with some nagging questions based on my own (limited) experience with therapy and therapy patients I've known: How do therapists know the information they are getting from the patient is accurate?Why do therapy patients seem to make the same life mistakes over and over?Why do therapy patients tend to go through so many different therapists?Why do the competency and techniques of therapists vary so wildly?One qualification I often hear from patients is that one has to find a "good therapist." If therapy is anything resembling a science, shouldn't all therapists share a basic competency, like we expect from medical doctors? Why do there seem to be so many useless therapists out there, and how can one know if a therapist is good before investing a lot of time and money? When I saw a therapist in college because I was feeling depressed about my social environment, one of her first questions for me was if I "ever fantasized about hurting other people." "Yes," I said, "but that's normal to some extent for all men." "No, it isn't," she answered quickly, and wrote some notes down in her notepad. The remainder of the session didn't go much better, and that was our last. My first girlfriend used to see a therapist weekly for depression and anxiety, but she never seemed to get any valuable life skills out of it. Her therapist exclusively focused on her childhood and all the ways her parents had supposedly failed her. Meanwhile, she was making all manner of destructive life choices and her panic episodes worsened over time. She would often characterize events and people differently than I would have - very self-servingly in my opinion - so I always wondered how the therapist would be able to separate the fiction from reality. If therapy is a serious discipline intended to help people discover important truths, why don't therapists regularly speak with a person's acquaintances to get a fuller picture of what's going on? There are other examples - all negative - but they're admittedly anecdotal. Has anyone here had a positive experience with a therapist and benefited from it? If so, why do you feel the therapist was effective?