By Helen Lewis
The stress among Freud's medical discoveries in regards to the strength of human feelings and the theoretical framework during which he embedded those discoveries has been so much eloquently specified through Freud himself. His agoniz ing reappraisal. in 1926, of the libido conception of hysteria is only one instance. yet, as is mostly the case, theoretical problems element to gaps in latest wisdom. on the time while Freud made his primary discovery that hysterical signs (and desires) have been comprehensible as reflections of for bidden ("strangulated") impact, anthropology was once primarily nonexistent as a technology. The cultural nature of people (our species' exact variation to existence) may well purely be adumbrated via Freud (for instance, within the fable of Totem and Taboo). consequently, the primacy of human attachment feelings within the acculturation strategy couldn't be postulated as a theoretical base. What Freud followed as his base of theorizing was once the main ahead taking a look materialist idea of his time: the Darwinian inspiration of person instincts because the motive force in lifestyles. Freud assumed that the vicissitudes of in stincts ascertain the destiny of "ideas" in attention. Freud's theoretical base hence impelled him to invest in regards to the foundation and destiny of rules rather than concerning the foundation and destiny of human emotional connectedness. This publication is a small step alongside the line which should still eventually deliver Freud's discoveries right into a modem theoretical framework in psychology.
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Extra info for Freud and Modern Psychology: Volume 1: The Emotional Basis of Mental Illness
I felt ashamed,' the woman said to me [explaining her hostility to him], 'that a thing like hypnosis should be successful where I myself, with all my will-power, was helpless'" (Freud, 1892, p. 120). Freud does not elaborate on the possibility that shame at her failure might have in- 36 CHAPTER 2 creased her initial anxiety. He describes the patient as being beset by "antithetical ideas" or a "counter-will" which "put itself into effect by an innervation of her body" because she was either excited or exhausted by her first delivery.
He had discovered that their accounts were sometimes (although not always) fantasies which, given the nature of primary-process transformations, had the same emotional status in their lives as reality. It should be noted, at this point, that Freud did not suppose that all accounts of father-daughter incest were untrue, but he "could not imagine that perverted acts against children were so general" (p. 216). As we shall see later in this chapter, we now know that the incidence of father-daughter incest is much greater than had previously been supposed (Herman and Hirschman, 1977) and that the psychological effects on the daughters are still as severe as they were in Freud's time.
But transference improvement leads at once to theoretical difficulties. Especially when hard-headed scientists contemplate this kind of happening, it all seems too simple. It is also very difficult to believe that something as objectively trivial as mere feelings can make a person go crazy. Something more substantial must be involved - some chemical released or some energy dammed up. The "scientific" prejudice against feeling states as the basis for mental illness is not as strong today as it was in Freud's day, but it is still very much with us.
Freud and Modern Psychology: Volume 1: The Emotional Basis of Mental Illness by Helen Lewis