Considering Life and Death in Psychoanalysis

Abstract

Psychoanalytic therapy is not supposed to cure man from death, nor to help him forget about it. It is supposed to deal with the soul, and it is up to the soul to deal with death. Death is actually not an issue for psychoanalytic therapy—its only problem can be the soul. On the other hand, only for the soul is death an authentic problem. Only the soul can authentically bring death into question. Psychoanalysis has indebted humanity by finding the strength and critical prudence in a crucial moment for civilization to remove the veil of prohibition and shame from sexuality, which had been repressed for centuries. Today, sexuality is no longer repressed (it may be even too present in the media for some)—but death became repressed. This paper considers death as an essential topic for psychoanalysis.

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Correspondence to Petar Jevremović.

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Address correspondence to: Petar Jevremović, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Philosophy, Department for Psychology, University of Belgrade, Cika Ljubina 18-20,11000 Beograd, Serbia. Email: pjevremo@f.bg.ac.rs.

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Jevremović, P. Considering Life and Death in Psychoanalysis. Am J Psychoanal 79, 196–211 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-019-09187-1

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Keywords

  • Freud
  • Plato
  • ψυχῆς θεραπεία
  • psychoanalysis