It might sound peculiar to those who still believe that psychoanalysis has something to do with science, but when people join the Freudian cause they act and function like converts.
In France, where psychoanalysis still exists in its purest form, people give their lives to Freudian theory and act like cult followers. As I have put it, they join a pseudo-religion. It’s like joining the Church of Scientology. The only difference is that converts to the Freudian cult have triple-digit IQs.
(FYI—the most interesting and readable study of conversion and other religious experiences can be found in William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience. Written over a century ago, the book describes different religious and spiritual experiences. A careful reader will note how closely they resemble what psychoanalysis has been offering.)
If psychoanalysis has its converts, it must also know have its share of people who have deconverted. Within serious religions they are called apostates. In the Freudian pseudo-religion their names are never spoken, but are treated like apostates.
Now, we have a video panel discussion about the psychoanalytic version of deconversion. The discussion took place in late March of this year in Versailles, France in an apartment that had previously been occupied by Mme de Pompadour. Evidently, the locale was well chosen.
The video was produced and directed by Sophie Robert, who also took on the role of questioner. Among the participants were University of Washington professor and prolific author of works about Freud, Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Professor Jacques van Rillaer, emeritus of the University of Louvain, also the author of many books about psychoanalysis and behavioral therapy, psychiatrist and former psychoanalyst Jean-Pierre Ledru and your humble blogger.
It was a wonderful conversation and I very much enjoyed participating.
For now the only version is in French. Link below.