Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"The Last Psychoanalyst"


Sam L. said...

I'd comment, but there's nothing here.

(Easiest set of not-a-robot letters I've ever seen.)

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Comments are welcome on the book's Amazon page.

Ares Olympus said...

I found a review!

Lacan’s former student and analysand, now turned life coach, Stuart Schneiderman, published his The Last Psychoanalyst in June. The book is largely a polemic against psychoanalysis and given this is ground well-trodden during the Freud Wars, Schneiderman’s contribution seems somewhat dated from the outset. For those interested in Lacan’s work it is chiefly of interest from a historical perspective. Schneiderman was in analysis with Lacan in the 1970s where he was one of only a few Americans to travel to Paris to be trained by Lacan. His earlier books, most notably his chronicle of Lacan’s final years, Jacques Lacan: Death of an Intellectual Hero, written when he was still in the psychoanalytic fold, ooze with fascinating detail about how Lacan worked. In Returning to Freud there is even a transcript of one of Lacan’s sessions with a psychotic patient. However only the last four chapters of this latest book deal directly with Lacan and Lacanian psychoanalysis. When it comes to the views on the subject, half of his criticisms of Lacan are indirect, concealed criticisms of French philosophy; the other half are attacks based on quite facile generalisations of psychoanalysis rather than engagement with Lacan’s theory. This is a shame given the quality of Schneiderman’s theoretical contributions whilst part of the psychoanalytic world.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

What do you know?Thank you for finding this. Obviously, Lacan's cult followers are not going to like the book. They will try to dismiss it... as has the author of this empty paragraph. Anyone who has read the book knows that much more than the last four chapters deals with Lacan. And someone who knows Lacan also knows that I did engage with the theory as Lacan presented it. Unfortunately, Lacan's minions do not really understand what their master was all about. Of course, I base my critique of psychoanalysis on Lacan's idea that it was all a scam and on the kind of hagiography that has grown up around him. I also explained how he tried to redeem Freud's theories and how his theories became a cult. I don't know who wrote this, but it is the kind of half-assed dismissal you would expect from the Lacanian cult. An embarrassment... I would say.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

For the record, when my book, Jacques Lacan: the Death of an Intellectual Hero was published in 1983 the leaders of the Lacanian movement had it trashed in one of their publications: Analytica, vol. 4.
The man who wrote the review, a professor at U. Conn later apologized to me for allowing himself to be induced to run a dishonest review.

Stuart Schneiderman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

You're welcome Stuart. Google is a powerful tool to find things, but all treasures found must be given some context for credibility, but still facts can sometimes be extracted from the opinions. Like I learned you studied under Jacques Lacan, since I didn't know that before. (And other sources say he was an incomprehensible writer himself, maybe a good strategy for godhood?)

I admit I'm still confused over "therapy" versus "psychotherapy". I'd definitely consider Lucy's $0.05 therapy sessions.
For instance, the first time Charlie Brown goes to Lucy's booth and tells her that he has deep feelings of depression, Lucy replies, "Snap out of it, five cents please."

But more seriously I might consider the late Scott Peck, who was a Psychiatrist/therapist, but not a psychotherapist. I don't know if he as a "cult" following, or just fans who are sure they can't live up to his standards.

If I had any reason for NOT reading "The last psychotherapist" it is because if it's just a farewell story to something you consider a failure, why study it at all? So I'm still waiting for a review that tells me why its worth reading.

Anonymous said...

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

I can look things up on Google, too.

Ares, you are a small man. I can't wait to see your curriculum vitae.


Ares Olympus said...

Tip, I'll consider that a compliment, at least small men are better able to stand on the shoulders of giants.

re: "Ares, you are a small man."

Really I spend more time fact-checking than criticizing on my own. Most of the time I'm not in a position to judge critics or critics of critics or critics of critics of critics as the case may be, so its all boxes of opinions for me.

Recruiting Animal said...

Re: Small men. I don't think every critic is a small man who motivated by jealousy tries to not only try to knock down the great

It's the critics who fight against cults of idolatry.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Of course, some critics create idolatrous cults.

Anonymous said...

Heaven help me, I've been an Agnostic Existentialist (Camus division) since I was 16.

Never persuaded by a School, ideology, or the nature of Truth. Incapable of religious Belief. Lifelong Depression, various degrees of.

But some immutable convictions. 10 Commandments. Sermon on the Mount. Do unto others... The wisdom and beneficence of US Founders, and love of the country they created. WCiv itself.

Beyond that, no certainties I can think of.

I nearly died in VN several times. No Deep or Religious thoughts. Fear, of course. But I was usually too exhausted and sleep-deprived for terror. -- Rich Lara