When people are asked to give a list of the things that come to mind when psychology is mentioned, Sigmund Freud with his popular psychoanalysis theory comes up quite often. Psychoanalysis, which is both a theoretical outlook and a therapeutic approach, has transparently embedded its impact on the psychological field. While there could be a couple of individuals who still take a psychoanalytical point of perception, many of psychologists today prefer using a more dynamic technique in the realm of psychology. In truism, most psychologists in the 21st century view psychoanalysis with skepticism with some going to the extent of feeling derision for Sigmund’s institution of thought. But is this just? Is there still some space for psychoanalysis in a world of psychology that is dominated by neuroscience, cognitive processes, and biopsychology?
Recently, there have been a couple of publications outlining the general reduction of traditional psychoanalysis. An article released in 2007 in the New York Times described the decline of the application of therapy within psychology. The American Psychoanalytical Association published a report on its observations that psychology departments perceive psychoanalytic theory purely as a historical artifact, whereas subject units such as literature, history, and art, among other humanity topics, have the potential to offer psychoanalysis as a trending and important subject. One would be interested to know why therapy has fallen off as an academic unit of psychology. Part of its issue is as a result of its inability to test the effectiveness and validity of its psychoanalysis concept as well as the inconsistency and incapability to base the discipline in proof-grounded practices (Whitbourne, 2012).
One of the reasons why many individuals are skeptical of the psychoanalysis theory in the current era is because of the weakness displayed by the bodies of evidence that attempt to support its effectiveness. However, some studies on psychoanalysis efficiency and effectiveness have yielded little support for this therapeutic model. One of the meta-analyses realized that therapy has the potential of being useful like any other therapy approach. Other research studies are suggestive that psychoanalysis could be efficient in the treatment and diagnosis of drug addiction and dependence, depression and panic disorder (Cohen, 2007).
Another concern is that the theory is an extended proposition. On the contrary, people in the current world are seeking fast approaches and results which yield effects after a couple of days, weeks, or months. Psychoanalysis involves therapists exploring the issues of their clients over the duration of years. According to some psychologists, by the application of the procedures established for evidence-based diagnosis, the traditional psychoanalysis theory on its own fails to pass muster as a technique of therapy for the significant majority of psychological disorders. It is, however, an oversimplification if modern psychologists overlook Freud’s contributions and role as least relevant and insignificant to psychology (Cohen, 2007).
Most of Freud’s concepts have declined in support of psychology, but this does not imply that his role and contributions are unmerited. His idea of therapy, the idea that mental sickness could be treated and that expression of the challenges and difficulties could result in relief was a revolutionary theory that has embedded an impact on how people perceive the diagnosis of mental disorders (Cohen, 2007).
The study has supported some of Freud’s earliest concepts. Contemporary evaluations of neuroscientific initiatives have confirmed that most of Freud’s first claims, not least the pervasive impact of unconscious processes and the organizational role of feelings for reasoning, have discovered supporting evidence in laboratory research. It is essential to keep in mind that Sigmund Freud in his time was much of a product. While he was famous for his numerous audacious concepts, regarded as particularly shocking and surprising during the Victorian era, his perception of the globe was decorated by the time in which he was in existence. This raises interesting questions on what path would be taken by psychoanalysis if Freud still lived in our time (Fonagy, 2003).
Many argue that Freud if he was still alive, would be interested in knowing the new modern knowledge on the functioning of the brain, such as the development of the brain nets in regard to the value of the earlier relationships, the place of particular capacities with functional scans are situated, the discovery of character genomics and molecular genetics. He would also have furthered his Project for Scientific Psychology, the abandoned initiative in which he tried developing a neural, behavioral concept (Fonagy, 2003).
One significant factor worth noting is that while the psychoanalytical theory may be declining, it does not imply that the psychodynamic perspective is non-existent. In the contemporary world, the psychologist takes into account the psychodynamic rather than the psychoanalytic perspective. In that view, this attitude is a reference to the dynamic factors lying within our characters whose changing motions underlie a lot of the ground for our notable aspect. Psychoanalytic theory is more of a lighter term for the Freudian-based idea that to comprehend and solve disorders and strange characters our unconscious chaos ought to be evaluated. The decline of psychoanalysis as developed by Freud does not necessarily translate to the notion that the psychodynamic perspective is gone or will be disappearing soon (Whitbourne, 2012).
In order to ensure there is the continued relevance of psychoanalysis in the field of psychology, there should be an emphasis on the subject, conduction of in-depth research and exploration in regard to evidence-based treatments as well as improved data-collection and gathering techniques, accounting for other potential description of the character as well as active collaborations with other psychological health medics in order to enhance the relevance and legitimacy of psychoanalytic techniques (Cohen, 2007).
In truism, Freud’s contributions to psychology can still be felt in the contemporary world. While talk psychoanalysis could be correctly linked to psychotherapy, practitioners often employ this method in a variety of other therapeutic concepts which include group therapy and client-centered therapy. Though psychoanalysis may not be the force as it was in 1910, the theory has displayed a lasting impact on both psychology and popular culture.
Cohen, P. (2007, Nov. 25). Freud Is Widely Taught at Universities, Except in the Psychology Department. The New York Times.
Fonagy, P. (2003). Psychoanalysis Today. World Psychiatry, 2(2)
Whitbourne, S. K. (2012). Freud’s Not Dead; He’s Just Really Hard to Find. Psychology Today.