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After Freud

On his 150th anniversary, Freud's legacy is being dismantled by the ideas of his greatest challenger, Aaron Beck. Cognitive therapy is now the orthodox talking cure in Britain, and the government wants more of it. But with cognitive science comes a new battle for the meaning of the human mind

Anyone who has undergone traditional psychoanalysis will know that it is not about finding a cure for an illness, or even relieving the symptoms of one. In this occasionally marvellous, often painful, and sometimes absurd enterprise, the analyst—whether Freudian, Jungian, Kleinian, or Lacanian—does not tell you what it is that you’ve got, nor does he or she explain how you will get over it. Instead, you embark on a personal exploration during which you find that you don’t only suffer from the symptoms you thought you did, but also a range of other conflicts underlying them. The process is classically…

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