Shrinking the Stereotype of Psychoanalysis

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2005. Shrinking the Stereotype of Psychoanalysis. Psychotherapy Section Review, 38, pp. 27-36. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper explores the damaging stereotype of psychoanalysis which prevails in caricatures, jokes and the media. This stereotype is of a profession that is elitist, exclusive, exploitative and self-proving. Tracing the negative public perception of psychoanalysis to its poor outreach, exclusive practices, and careful protectiveness of its own members’ interests, this paper argues that the public image would be greatly improved if some of its institutions (most notably the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London) were to relinquish some of their medieval guild- like practices, and be more open to other psychoanalytic-psychotherapeutic modalities. It proposes by way of conclusion that psychoanalysis needs to become more accountable to external enquiry and more integrated with the wider world.

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Additional Information:

re-published in the International Journal of Psychotherapy, 2007 Vol 11, No 2, Article 03

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


June 2005Published

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Date Deposited:

12 Jan 2015 11:53

Last Modified:

23 Jun 2017 15:45

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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