Psychoanalysis and the real world

November 2, 2011

I recently taught two classes for first year psychotherapy students – the first on a history of psychotherapy and the second an introduction to psychoanalysis.  Poor old Freud tends to get a bit of a bashing at these events – the myths we carry around about his impact and influence seem to reach fascinating levels of distortion!  Explaining the finer points of Freud to newbie psychotherapists can create challenges but I invariably resort to other people’s descriptions as finer than my own and these two clips from Slavo Zizek’s Pervert’s Guide to Cinema are really great introductions to the Id, the Ego and the Superego – much better illustrated than anything I could come up with. The first clip is a scene from Psycho and the second is from the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup.  What always interests me is the realization on the part of students that psychoanalysis has an applicability outside of the consulting room – it’s as though the lights go on in a very profound way…And, for me, that’s both interesting and gratifying….believing as I do that psychoanalysis can offer profound insights into how we get on with each other in our personal and professional lives…enjoy!

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