Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Reisz, Matthew. "Off the Couch, Back on its Feet." TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION June 12, 2008.

The American Psychoanalytic Association recently set up a task force with an ambitious goal - to "reach and captivate the 10,000 best minds of the next generation with the power of psychoanalytic ideas". Clearly worried that its influence was in decline, it employed Jonathan Redmond and Michael Shulman to research "access to psychoanalytic ideas in American undergraduate institutions". Their report was recently published in the association's journal. After looking at the course catalogues of 150 highly ranked colleges and universities, the authors note that "psychology departments typically offer little coursework on psychoanalysis ... most often it is mentioned dismissively in textbooks describing psychoanalytic ideas as scientifically invalid, or in misleading, incomplete or simplistic ways". Readers could well conclude that it was just "a desiccated and dead tributary of the psychological mainstream". Yet this is only half the story because "six times more courses featuring psychoanalytic ideas are available outside psychology departments than in them". Many are in the humanities and social sciences, where "basic psychoanalytic concepts have been undergoing significant transformation". As a result, the report points out, "clinically orientated analysts might find themselves on unfamiliar ground", particularly when courses are "steeped in Lacanian concepts or postmodern theorising". . . . Read the rest here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=402337&c=1.

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