Why Psychoanalysis? (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)

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Written in an accessible style and designed to persuade nonspecialists of the continuing validity of the Freudian field, Why Psychoanalysis merits attention by all those who have a personal or professional stake in mental health. American Imago A courageous book. -- Marc Auge Le Monde Bubbling with energy. Elle (Paris) Roudinesco foresees the establishment of a human science where the figure of the Socratic master is internalized, allowing for an ongoing and creative reworking of individual and social meaning. This vision emerges as the important and elegant outcome of Why Psychoanalysis? -- Stephen E. Sternbach Psychoanalytic Quarterly April 2005

Vom Verlag:

Why do some people still choose psychoanalysis-Freud's so-called talking cure-when numerous medications are available that treat the symptoms of psychic distress so much faster? Elisabeth Roudinesco tackles this difficult question, exploring what she sees as a "depressive society": an epidemic of distress addressed only by an increasing reliance on prescription drugs. Far from contesting the efficacy of new medications like Prozac, Zoloft, and Viagra in alleviating the symptoms of any number of mental or nervous conditions, Roudinesco argues that the use of such drugs fails to solve patients' real problems. In the man who takes Viagra without ever wondering why he is suffering from impotence and the woman who is given antidepressants to deal with the loss of a loved one, Roudinesco sees a society obsessed with efficiency and desperate for the quick fix. She argues that "the talking cure" and pharmacology represent not just different approaches to psychiatry, but different worldviews. The rush to treat symptoms is itself symptomatic of an antiseptic and depressive culture in which thought is reduced to the firing of neurons and desire is just a chemical secretion. In contrast, psychoanalysis testifies to human freedom and the power of language.

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