Battlepanda: Everybody together now: Freud is Horseshit


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Everybody together now: Freud is Horseshit

(Via Majikthise)

Say it everyone...alltogether now..."Freud is Horseshit". Actually, you probably knew that already. But it bears repeating. To think our popular imagination was (and still is, to some extent) held captive by such a batshit theory boggles the mind. Here is Albert Ellis, founder of cognitive behavioral therapy, ripping into Freud in the Village voice:

When did you decide that Freudian analysis was a waste of time? Freud was full of horseshit. He invented people's problems and what to do about them. Tell me one thing about the past. I'll prove it's not what upset you. It's how you philosophized about it that made you disturbed.

If Freud is horseshit, why are so many people still spending hours on the couch, talking about their dreams? Because people are crazy and stupid! And especially psychologists and therapists are stupid! That's the main reason.

Many of your books include charts, questionnaires and equations, which show readers how to more efficiently deal with their unhappiness. Are there dangers in seeing deep mental processes as a formula? It's not a formula. It's several different formulas. I encourage USA, Unconditional Self Acceptance. I accept me, myself, my personality, whether or not I do well. I prefer to do well, but I don't put my worth on the line. And I accept you—with your [cough attack] stupidity and failings—whether or not you do well. And I accept life, which is bad, without demanding that it be exactly the way I want it to be. I avoid the words "should," "ought" and "must."
So Freud is horseshit. But is cognitive behavioral therapy any better? Can depressed people be hectored an haranged into feeling better? I know too many depressed people who feel otherwise to think that.