Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Freudian Pseudo-science in France

In today’s thoroughly modern France a psychoanalyst can testify in court, on the basis of Freudian theory, that a frigid mother has caused her child to become autistic. The same psychoanalyst can assert that the mother’s presence is aggravating thechild's condition. On the basis of such pseudo-scientific testimony, the court might decide to remove the child from his home and place him in a public institution… where his autism will not receive any consequential treatment. 

After all, psychoanalysts do not believe that they can treat autism anyway. And a child who refuses to talk must be showing that he does not want to be treated. Thus, better to leave him alone with his condition. Besides, the recent cognitive and behavioral approaches come from the Anglosphere, and are empirically verifiable... and that would corrupt the souls of autistic French children.

Such is the reality addressed by my friend Sophie Robert in a new petition, reported and reprinted in the Parisian magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur. If you read down the list of signatories you will find my name. The proposal would have it that Freudian theory can no longer be considered to be scientific truth in courtroom proceedings. Considering that Freud created a pseudoscience, I cannot help but concur.

Thus, I consider this project of surpassing importance. One is especially proud of Sophie Robert for taking the struggle to psychoanalysts in France. For the record I have written about her travails on this blog and in my book, The Last Psychoanalyst.

It is not the first time that she has taken on the psychoanalytic establishment—whose prominence and influence in the world of French mental health cannot be overestimated. When she brought out her video called The Wall, analysts sued her for damage to their “moral rights.” After two years, an appeals court threw out their case and forced them to pay court costs.

Next, she produced and distributed a film called The Phallus and Nothingness, dutifully linked on this blog, with the English subtitles. In it analysts explain that victims of sexual abuse really wanted it, and are suffering because they cannot accept that they wanted to be abused. If you did not think that this was at the core of Freudian theory you missed the essential.

Anyway, I suspect that French psychoanalysts are ruing the day they decided to mess with Sophie Robert.

Today I offer an English translation of the opening of the new article in the Nouvel Obs. I made some minor corrections to the translation, generated by Google:

Psychoanalysis must be thrown out of the courts: this is the new fight of Sophie Robert, a young director fighting the influence of this discipline for several years, because there is, she says, urgency. "It is unbearable to hear judicial  " experts " claiming that babies have sexual " intentions " , to question the desire of victims of sexual assault, incest or parents of children with autism. [It is also unbearable to see such partents]  deprived of their rights. custody of their children in the name of pseudo-expertises! "

Another sample from the article:

In the courts, psychoanalysts can today use their degree in psychology or medicine (when they have them) to issue expertise that has no medical or scientific foundation, in complete violation of the public health code. The social consequences can be dramatic: fanciful and unrecognized diagnoses by international nosographies in force, disregarding the needs of people with disabilities or psychiatric patients, exclusion from school and society, guilt of victims of sexual violence and the people who protect them in the name of the psychoanalytic ideology according to which the truth is always in reverse of the tangible reality.

1 comment:

Alter Kocker said...

presently reading Frederick Crew's "Freud, The Making of an Illusion."
All I can say is, "Wow. Cocaine is a hell of a drug!"