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Essay example - The method of Psychoanalysis

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Pages 10 (2510 words)
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory and a psychotherapeutic method developed by Sigmund Freud. Its basic premise states that human beings function at a conscious or unconscious level and most psychological problems can be traced to unresolved conflicts simmering below the level of consciousness…

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in Jeffrey Magnavita 72).
From the onset, psychoanalysis was plagued by controversy and severe criticism, yet it continued to grow and evolve in leaps and bounds. It was a radical departure from the prevailing schools of psychological thought and as such it took the world by storm with its groundbreaking theories. The main criticism leveled at psychoanalysis and its founder is the excessive and unnecessary emphasis on sex. This preoccupation with sex on the part of Freud may be attributed to his having been raised in a repressive society where frank sexual expression was taboo. Freud has also been accused of sexism and his theory of "penis envy" caused much furor and outrage particularly among the feminists. But in the words of Westen, "if you grow up in a culture where men are so privileged, it's easy to see how he could arrive at that" (qtd. in Marilyn Elias 10). Finally the scientific integrity of psychoanalysis has been questioned and many feel that what parades as fact is often mere speculation. However criticisms aside, psychoanalysis remains one of the most insightful and relevant systems for attempting to explore and understand the human psyche.
Freud's most important contribution to the field of psychology is his work pertaining to the concept of the unconscious. ...
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