Why Might Freudian Therapy Be A Waste Of Time And Money

2527 words - 10 pages

In his book Des Bienfaits de la Depression, Pierre Fédida wrote a chapter called 'Il Faut Etre Deux Pour Guérir' in which he explains why it is useful to talk when you are depressed.20 Patients usually believe that talking is not the solution but that the only way to cure is to bring back the lost person/situation whose absence initially caused the trauma. Psychological pain is a human particularity and therapy is meant to heal it. Fédida uses the example of drug addicts who go on detoxification. Addiction to drugs often reveals an alarming state of depression and the fact of undergoing treatment for drug addiction is the sign of distress and will to be saved. Freud used to underline how human beings have created for themselves an interior metaphorical discourse to express extremely violent issues such as love, hate, life, death, sexuality...21 Analytical cure sight-reads this metaphorical language.
Patients have the tendency to try and cure themselves alone but therapy helps substract the patient to his own influence, free his from his own desease. Therapy requires the participation of two actors and recovery cannot take place if the therapist does not understand his patient's psychology and resistance to healing.22 Freud focused on studying the opposition to healing and resistance to treatment when increasing his knowledge about unconscious forces. The therapist defines healing as the goal creating the patient's resistances. Thoses resistances to therapy can be explained as follows : the fact of being cured corresponds to a change of state. Negative reactions to treatment are thus explained by a fear of losing internal integrity and eventually disintegrating. The fear of modification is extremely strong.
In 1904, Freud explained he had given up suggestion since eight years because he despaired of making the effects of suggestion effective and lasting enough to lead to once and for all curing. Comparing Leonardo da Vinci's vision of painting to Freud's vision of therapy appears logical : painting proceeds, per via di porre – by putting on – by applying color on a plain and white surface prepared to receive it. The image created by the application of color symbolises order born from initial chaos. With sculpture however, Freud gave a different comparaison as sculpture operates per via di levare – by removing – taking away all the raw stone covering the statue it contains.23 The metaphor is aristotelian : proceeding per via di levare lets the sculpture be born from the raw material that contains it. If curing is similar to sculpture, it is not born from the erasing of symptoms as the symptoms themselves contain a knowledge of yourself used by the therapist. Curing by suggestion is no more than a Platonic pharmakon whose therapeutic effects are illusionary as long as they are not procuded from the patient's inner reflexion. Nothing lasting is achieved unless it is bred from the inside, endogenous, to provoke a deep transformation. Per via...

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