There’s no denying that Freud’s theories are deeply embedded in the fabric of modern life. However, as Robert Rowland Smith explores in “In Defence of Psychoanalysis,” published in the Winter 2010 issue of Intelligent Life, Freudian methods, particularly psychoanalysis, have lately fallen out of favor.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has in turn rise in popularity. CBT seeks to improve a patient’s inner state by modifying outward behaviors, an inverse approach to that of psychoanalysis. While psychoanalysis investigates the root cause of a problem, which often relates back to childhood, CBT addresses the present-day issue. As compared to psychoanalysis, CBT is usually short-term – most treatments are limited to about thirty sessions.
The quick-fix mentality of modern life makes CBT understandably appealing. However, as Smith states: “Relationships are fundamental to happiness. And so a science that has the courage to include the doctor’s relationship with the patient within the treatment itself, and to work with it, is a science already modelling the solution it prescribes.”