Psychoanalysts are swindlers who gaining the confidence of some self-indulgent rich, allow them to lie on their sofa and talk endlessly. The analysts sit quietly in their armchairs. They earn a good fortune just by listening to such people. This is what they do. Are you unhappy? Don’t you feel well? Then just go to a psychoanalyst. Lie on the sofa, Ramble on for an hour pay a charge of £35. Do this three times a week, and for four or five years. And at the end it will leave the analyst £30,000, richer. But you are still in mess as before.
Treatment of psychological problems is just a con trick. But people have been falling for almost a century. Freud invented psychoanalysis in 1895. It is discovery contributed enormously to our understanding of the subconscious. But such analysis has no place in modern medical treatment. ‘The talking cure”, that Freud and his co-worker, Joseph Breuer developed in Vienna, was designed to specifically to uncover the cause of hysterical symptoms. Even in that narrow field they had a few success. But analysis was then adopted for all sorts of psychological problems to which it was entirely unsuited. A person named George Gershwin was psychoanalyzed in the thirties by doctors hoping to find a cure for the neurological symptoms that troubled him. The man died at the age of 39.
Strangely enough psychoanalysis was tried as a cure for schizophrenia and mental deficiency on which it has no effect at all. Till recent days it was in use for a treatment for depression. But in reality it makes depression worse. Satirically John Collee says, ‘if your problem is morbid introspection then the worst thing you can do is spend hours talking about yourself.”
Having failed to achieve success in the treatment of any of the above sufferings or symptoms, the psychoanalysts redirected their energies towards treating people who were not ill at all. And they made good fortune there. The appeal of lying down and talking about your self was irresistible for many. Woody Allen was a rich intellectual. His reserve of money and self doubt made him a good victim of psychoanalysts. He was analyzed till he was in a semi coma stage. But his personal life was still in a mess.
In their self-defense, the analysts say that “curing” is not the purpose of their exercise. They simply help people to understand themselves. But it is highly doubtful if change in behavior is produced by self knowledge. Any drunk driver who gets pulled over is well aware of the fact that he has behaved irresponsibly. But does it resist him from taking wine or driving carelessly through a town?
The psychoanalysts keep their patients in a world of make believe. They continue their treatment with a belief that what they have achieved, compensate enough the time and money they have spent. Such a promise was made, in the old days, by people who sold Encyclopedia Britannica. After purchasing a few volumes of it or after joining a first few dozen sessions you have already spent too much to admit it’s a total loss. The treatment of psychoanalysts is like playing video game. The video game advertisement says “Nintendo, will you even reach the end?” and the frightening answer is “No, you idiot, of course you won’t.” The game like psychoanalysis is limitless. The more you solve the more you create. The phony sense of progress is one of the things that make it so addictive.
Transference is another thing which keeps people hooked on psychoanalysis patients in analysis attach their powerful felling for some important person. Psychoanalysts encourage this feeling and say that, that is how the patient ultimately gets rid of those feelings. But the essayist is of the view that the feelings are merely rehearsed in another context and all you get rid of is the fee for another two years treatment.
At last, the health insurance companies called a half to all this madness in America. The health insurance companies were unable to pay the charge of psychoanalysts. So they insisted that therapists should specify the length of treatment for different diagnoses. The analysts were forced to admit that treatment was open ended and the benefits uncertain. So people who want a change rather than just a long lie down are directed towards what is called “brief counseling”. Like psychoanalysis this is a ‘talking case’. But it involves a maximum of 25 sessions. In this method, the dominant psychological problems are identified right from start and a time limit set on sorting these out. Instead of wasting time in listening, the therapist intervenes to impose some kind of order on the patient’s thinking. “Learning from you experience is encouraged and strategies are worked out that will stop you from repeating self destructive behavior.
This method of “brief counseling” is pragmatic and practical. The working of human mind is profound and mystical. Man goes on committing same mistakes again and again. To break this cycle you need to do something. Brief counseling helps a patient to actively re-arrange with life. It is a waste of time and money to spend years lying on an analysts’ couch.