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Episode credited cast:
Franz Alexander ...
Jacob Arlow ...
A.A. Brill ...
Francis Crick ...
Siegmund Freud ...
Peter Gay ...
Ernest Jones ...
Jerome Kagan ...
Jeffrey Masson ...
Frank Sulloway ...
Thomas Szasz ...
Himself (narrator)
Joseph Wortis ...


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Release Date:

17 February 1987 (USA)  »

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Freud Under Analysis
2 April 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is an interesting documentary about Siegmund Freud, and although it debunks the majority of his ideas it can rightly be called balanced, because to put it bluntly he was wrong about almost everything. It is interesting to learn that he used cocaine for a decade, and as he died at the age of 83, it doesn't appear to have done him any physical harm, although shoving the white stuff up your nose has nothing to recommend it.

There is commentary from many people who know what they are talking about including Francis Crick and perhaps even more notably the iconoclastic Thomas Szasz. Although he doesn't use those words, Crick suggests Freud was more of a social critic than a psychiatrist while Szasz points out rightly that psychoanalysis is an ideology, a cultural phenomenon, but not a science because it is not falsifiable.

One thing about which Freud was almost certainly right, although this idea is opposed mildly here, is his suggestion, perhaps one should say realisation, that many claims of sexual abuse particularly in childhood are fantasies, and dangerous ones, as the people running the criminal justice system in the UK have yet to realise.

Freud's other ideas about sexuality were especially popular in the United States, but again this was a cultural phenomenon rather than a scientific one. Indeed, Americans appear to have been more enthusiastic about psychoanalysis than he was.

The one important person not interviewed here is Hans Eysenck, instead the bald assertion is made that Eysenck's early criticism of Freud was refuted. When I interviewed him more than two decades ago, he stuck to his guns, and to the best of my knowledge there have been no developments since either to prove Eysenck wrong or Freud right.

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