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The Question of Lay Analysis: (The Standard Edition) Mass Market Paperback – May 17, 1990
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About the Author
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is one of the twentieth century's greatest minds and the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology. His many works include The Ego and the Id; An Outline of Psycho-Analysis; Inhibitions; Symptoms and Anxiety; New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis; Civilization and Its Discontent, and others.
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Here are some representative quotations from the book:
"Confession no doubt plays a part in analysis---as an introduction to it, we might say. But it is very far from constituting the essence of analysis or from explaining its effects. In Confession the sinner tells what he knows; in analysis the neurotic has to tell more."
"All that is true is that everything that happens in the id is and remains unconscious, and that processes in the ego, and they alone, CAN become conscious. But not all of them are, nor always, nor necessarily; and large portions of the ego can remain permanently unconscious."
"If we survey the whole situation we arrive at a simple formula for the origin of a neurosis: the ego has made an attempt to suppress certain portions of the id in an inappropriate manner, this attempt has failed, and the id has taken its revenge."
"Think of the war neurotics, who do not have to serve, precisely because they are ill. In civil life illness can be used as a screen to gloss over incompetence in one's profession ... while in the family it can serve as a means for sacrificing the other members and extorting proofs of their love or for imposing one's will upon them. All of this lies fairly near the surface; we sum it up in the term 'gain from illness.'"
"Honesty compels me to admit that the activity of an untrained analyst does less harm to his patient than that of an unskilled surgeon."
In his 1927 Postscript, Freud states, "My main thesis was that the important question is not whether an analyst possesses a medical diploma but whether he has had the special training necessary for the practice of analysis."
The whole "lay analysis" angle, which members of the general public (like me) could hardly be expected to find terribly compelling, makes up only part of the book. The chief interest here, I think, lies in Freud's lucid description of how psychoanalysis is conducted (whereas most of his other books provide only brief glimpses of what happens on Freud's couch). It also sums up some key Freudian concepts for those who came in late. All in all, it's readable and informative.