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Since its inception, psychoanalysis has been hailed as a revolutionary theory of how the mind works, whilst some of its ideas such as the Oedipus complex have become part of everyday conversation. In Psychoanalysis: A Very Short Introduction, Daniel Pick offers a lucid, lively, and wide-ranging survey of psychoanalysis. This book offers the reader a flavour of what it might be like to enter treatment, and suggests the possible surprises that can await both analyst and patient, as well as the potential benefits.
Yet whilst Freud's writings have shaped the way many of us understand dreams, desires, and destructiveness, as well as anxieties, blunders, and guilt, numerous critics have warned of the dangerous methods and time-bound assumptions of psychoanalysis, doubted the efficacy of its drawn-out methods, and dismissed its core claims as pseudo-science. Looking at modern ideas of the self, exploring the nature of unconscious aspects of relationships, and considering how psychoanalysis has evolved, Pick ponders the particular challenges now facing the analytic profession, and shows why psychoanalysis remains an important resource for investigating the mind, its creative functioning and many afflictions.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Daniel Pick, Professor of History, Birkbeck College, University of London
Daniel Pick is a psychoanalyst and historian. Alongside his private clinical practice, he is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London, a fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and of the Royal Historical Society. He is also an editor of History Workshop Journal, is on the editorial board of the New Library of Psychoanalysis, and a member of the advisory board of Psychoanalysis and History and Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture.