Psychoanalysis and the New Technologies

  • Mauricio Gitnacht


We keep hearing that psychoanalysis is in a state of crisis. Well, I would like to begin by pointing out that psychoanalysis has always been controversial and always in a state of crisis. I do not want to discuss historical matters, but merely to refer briefly to the Victorian Era during which psychoanalysis was born and developed. From the end of the Second World War until roughly 1970, psychoanalysis had its glory days. But there was always, and I speak from personal experience, criticism of it, both explicit and implicit. It goes without saying that we always tried to minimise and rationalise these attacks, saying they were the offshoot of conflicts and the unconscious envy (and sometimes not as unconscious as all that) of the critic. Nevertheless, today, we are confronted by these attacks which have never ceased and which, on the contrary, have been renewed with a vigour which it is sometimes difficult to ward off. You know as well as I do that in Freud’s time, he was faced with the hostility of his colleagues, as well as with rivalry and conflicts among his own disciples: Jung, Adler, Rank, Reich, etc. Each advanced his own theories, but I don’t intend to document the history of psychoanalysis. I would like to address, at the dawn of the Third Millennium, the crisis psychoanalysis is faced with today and which concerns all of us. I shall try to do this, with a metapsychological outlook, using Freud’s own ideas. In order to do this, I shall use as a starting point two articles by Freud, one written in 1927: The Future of an Illusion and the other in 1930: Civilization and its Discontents.


Historical Matter Standard Edition Reality Principle Pleasure Principle Instantaneous Gratification 
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  1. Freud, S., 1912, Totem and Taboo, standard editionGoogle Scholar
  2. Freud, S., 1927, The Future of an Illusion, standard editionGoogle Scholar
  3. Freud, S., 1930, Civilization and its Discontents, standard editionGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauricio Gitnacht
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Psychoanalytical SocietySwitzerland

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