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« Checks and Balances, the Republican Party and Corporate Free Speech: Why James Madison is Spinning in his Grave | Main | Social Democracy and Identity Politics: Ill Fares the Land »

09/04/2011

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David Nickol

This made me think of Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) in Sleeper saying, "I haven't seen my analyst in 200 years. He was a strict Freudian. If I'd been going all this time, I'd probably almost be cured by now. "

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Thanks for reminding us of those wonderful lines David!

As Paul Robinson has pointed out, most historians concur that in his later years Freud became rather pessimistic about the prospects of "success" for analytic therapy, hence the melancholy tone and telling title of his 1937 essay, "Analysis Terminable and Interminable," wherein Freud "reveals grave doubts about the thoroughness and durability of analytic cures. Analysis, the essay concurs, cannot guarantee that the patient won't suffer recurrence of his affliction, any more than it can provide immunization against the outbreak of a different neurosis." "Mental illness," writes Robinson, "now appears to Freud more elusive and intractable than ever before. Analysis, accordingly, becomes 'an interminable task.'" Patients, on the other hand, are expecting to contract for a (once and for all) cure of what ails them....

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