Conversations with Howard Shevrin II, Ann Arbor, June 17th, 2005
According to Howard Shevrin, psychoanalysis is first and foremost due to Freud’s creation of a new method: the patients have to say anything that comes into their minds. For the first time, it became possible to be in touch with the full extent of human experience. The two fundamental pillars of psychoanalysis are (1) the dynamic unconscious and (2) the primary process nature of that psychological unconscious. The psychoanalytic method is based on assumptions for which the evidence can only be provided from a more basic science. Psychoanalysis is over rich in theory, while psychology has empirical generalizations but no real overarching theories. As a result, researchers in psychology come up with a lot of usually trivial findings, but these findings get lost, because there is no context in which they can remain, so the same things are discovered over and over again. While psychoanalysis as a treatment has come under attack, psychoanalysis as an understanding of the mind has been doing much better. However, unless that theory is presented in a coherent way and takes into account recent scientific developments, it will simply fall and its bones will be picked.