1st Edition

What Is Psychoanalysis? 100 Years after Freud's 'Secret Committee'

By Barnaby B Barratt Copyright 2013
    240 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    2020 American Board & Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa) book award winner!

    In a radically powerful interpretation of the human condition, this book redefines the discipline of psychoanalysis by examining its fundamental assumptions about the unconscious mind, the nature of personal history, our sexualities, and the significance of the "Oedipus Complex". With striking originality, Barratt explains the psychoanalytic way of exploring our inner realities, and criticizes many of the schools of "psychoanalytic psychotherapy" that emerged and prospered during the 20th century.

    In 1912, Sigmund Freud formed a "Secret Committee", charged with the task of protecting and advancing his discoveries. In this book, Barratt argues both that this was a major mistake, making the discipline more like a religious organization than a science, and that this continues to infuse psychoanalytic institutes today. What is Psychoanalysis? takes each of the four "fundamental concepts" that Freud himself said were the cornerstones of his science of healing, and offers a fresh and detailed re-examination of their contemporary importance.

    Barratt's analysis demonstrates how the profound work, as well as the playfulness, of psychoanalysis, provides us with a critique of the ideologies that support oppression and exploitation on the social level. It will be of interest to advanced students of clinical psychology or philosophy, as well as psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.

    Preface. Opening the Question. Consciousness and the Dynamics of Repression. Personal History and Repetition-compulsivity. Sensual Embodiment and the Erotics of Experience. Oedipal Complexities. What are Healing Practices? Notes on Psychoanalytic Treatment. Ideology-Critique and Spiritual-Existential Praxis.


    Barratt, Barnaby B

    "Barratt wishes to 'inspire renewed debate' over the essentials of the discipline. He certainly achieves his purpose and does so with clarity. There is no doubt that his book will ruffle feathers. ... The book provides an intelligent guide to Freudian thinking today. It will be of interest to those looking for a sophisticated grasp of some of what Freud had to offer and those engaged in debates within psychoanalysis and philosophy." - Curtis & Jeannette, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 58 - June 2013