Monday, December 08, 2014

I Don't Agree With Freud But He's Integrationist

I don't completely agree with Dr. Sigmund Freud, the so-called founder of psychoanalysis. I find him to be woefully and narrowly human. For me, he is essentially limited in his understanding of human nature.

Despite that, I like Dr. Freud being an "integrationist" in search of the reality of the human mind and condition. For example, he was known to be inspired by the fiction of Dostoyevsky, Sophocles, and Shakespeare;  the sculpture of Michelangelo and Leonardo;  the philosophy of Mill and Nietzsche.

It was not his medical training that formed the cornerstone of his psychotherapeutic approach. You know what it was?  It was much of his readings of King Lear, Hamlet, Oedipus Rex, and the Brothers Karamazov. Indeed, that's how first and foremost "integrationistic" Dr. Freud was. He was able to draw on the wisdom of poets, artists, philosophers, playwrights, neurologists. and his patients' real life experiences in coming up with a unified vision of what humanity is.

In the tradition of Freud as well as other therapists, I view my self as an "integrationist" too for the healing of the "whole person" with influences from diverse disciplines as well as my own real life experiences. Without integration and seeing the whole of life in healing our minds and souls, our knowledge of anguish and conflict would be hollow, our self-revelations one-dimensional.

Yet Dr. Freud, despite his "integrationist" effort, still misses the mark. His psychoanalysis is terribly inadequate. It fails to address the most essential part of the whole person.

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