Today’s shock and awe story has nothing to do with the Super Bowl.
This morning in the New York Times Nicholas Kristof communicates a young woman’s allegations: when she was 7 years old her adoptive father sexually molested her. The woman is named Dylan Farrow. The man she is accusing: Woody Allen.
Here is the Kristof column and the full version of the letter, as published on his blog. Here is the Daily Mail story.
I will spare you the details, which do not need to be repeated here.
I am posting about it because there is one aspect of the story that has been overlooked. Not because of anyone’s malicious intent, not because anyone is trying to cover things up, but because, one imagines, it no longer feels very relevant.
In 1992, when the story of Woody Allen’s molestation of Dylan Farrow and Soon-yi Previn broke, the great filmmaker stood out in New York as the city's leading psychotherapy patient.
By all accounts at the time, he had undergone three decades on the couch. One imagined that he had had access to the best that New York could offer.
Not only did Allen’s movies make psychotherapy seem glamorous and necessary, but Allen himself was commonly seen as a neurotic who had transformed his neuroses into art-- wasn't that one of the goals of psychoanalysis. Besides Woody Allen was not sexually repressed. He had become the most important living advertisement for long-term psychoanalysis or psychoanalytically-oriented therapy.
Obviously, there are many reasons why psychoanalysis has declined in the two-plus decades since Woody Allen was first accused of having sexually molested a 7 year old and since he declared that he had fallen in love with his son’s adoptive step-sister. Yet, the revelations about Woody Allen surely discredited New York psychoanalysis.