Okay so part of me found this to be really interesting, especially with the various ideas like transference and displacement and all the other techniques your body uses to mask your trauma or protect you, but at the same time I found a lot of the conjectures to be too far out to be able to agree with them. Like relating Dora playing with her purse with a desire to masturbate or stating that Dora should not have been disgusted by the embrace from Herr, but rather sexually excited. Who wouldn’t be disgusted at the advances of an old man? It just seems very unfair to be making such outlandish conclusions and forcing them on Dora.
Especially with the dreams, Freud says that dreams are just wishes that your conscious mind represses. He says that the contents of the dream are changed around therefore making it necessary to interpret every part of the dream. With this definition, you can literally invent anything you want to in order to relate it to any of your earlier conjectures which makes it easy for Freud to just say that each of the aspects in her dream relate to her sexual anxiety.And it’s not so much the fact that he’s making these crazy assumptions, but that he can claim them to be true whether Dora agrees or not since he can just explain her denials as repression. She really has no power in the situation.

1 thought on “Fraud

  1. True, she definitely has no power here. I’ve been thinking that there must be a way to validate one interpretation of dreams or symptoms over another, and one way one could do it is to see if the interpretation, once accepted by the patient consciously (which is no mean feat, given that they have already tried to repress it), actually leads to an amelioration in the symptoms that brought them to the doctor in the first place. Now, of course, it may be hard to tell if it was the analysis that led to that result or something else, because so many things could help/hurt psychological symptoms. But if you get repeated positive results with similar methods of interpretation, then perhaps one could say that the treatment itself may be having an effect. That seems to be what Freud ends up claiming at times when he speaks about getting results from numerous analyses that point to similar things on which he’s basing his theories. Because you’re right; it can’t be just that the doctor can make up anything s/he wants and force it on the patient. But at the same time, one wouldn’t necessarily expect the patient to agree right away with the “correct” interpretation, since the idea is that they’ve been repressing that. So it’s difficult to validate which interpretation is the right one.

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