Sigmuend Freud 30 years after his death
A 200 FOOT STEEPLE was perhaps the only distinguishing characteristic of the little town of Freiberg, situated some 150 miles north-east of Vienna in what is now Czechoslovakia. It was here on the 6th of May in 1856 that Sigmund Freud was born, the first child of the second wife of an unsuccessful wool merchant who, it is said, resembled Garibaldi.
Freud has attributed his later selfconfidence in the face of hostility to the fact that he was his mother's favourite. He was also an able pupil. At the Sperl Gymnasium in Vienna, he remained top of his class for seven years. As an adolescent his interests were broad and varied. In addition to Latin and Greek, he could read both English and French fluently and had also taught himself Spanish and Italian. But it was towards literature and philosophy, towards human concerns, that his major interests lay.He considered law, even politics, but career possibilities for a Viennese Jew of modest means were limited.
Pragmatically but somewhat reluctantly Freud decided on medicine and installed himself at the University of Vienna. It was eight years before he graduated. After experimenting with zoology and chemistry, he settled to research in the physiology laboratory of Ernst Brucke where he remained for six years, publishing numerous papers. Freud enjoyed research and it was only the insistent advice of a friendly teacher that forced him to realise he had to earn a living. So Freud finally took his degree and entered the General Hospital Vienna. As a junior physician, however, he was still able to carry on re-.
search and publishing, now in cerebral anatomy.
At 29 he was appointed Lecturer in Neuropathology and awarded a travelling scholarship which enabled him to study for five months with Charcot in..
Paris. With characteristic shrewdness Freud gained access to Charcot's inner circle by offering to translate the great man's works into German.
It was here that Freud first encountered the use of hypnotic suggestion by which Charcot could induce or remove at will paralyses and anaesthesiae in certain patients.
Since childhood days Freud had been dominated by the desire to be famous. His initial ideal of the great hero (Hannibal had been his favourite) gradually became replaced by the ambition to be a great discoverer in science. He became excited by the potential of the drug cocaine, particularly its properties of reducing pain and creating lasting exhilaration. Freud found using the drug helped him overcome the periodic bouts of depression and apathy to which he was prone. With the possibility of using his investigations as a way to making a name for himself he wrote a paper on the drug and, not fully realising its addictive properties, became as dangerous as a modern drug peddler by indiscriminately advocating its use to his friends. One of his closest friends Fleischl eventually developed a severe addiction which later in part contributed to his death.
In his personal life Freud was a model of Victorian propriety. There is no evidence of any sexual relationships save with his future wife Martha Bernays. His 900 letters to her (they were apart three of the four and a half years they were engaged) show the passionate quality of his feelings, but even here he felt it necessary, with the prudishness of the period, to apologise for even a casual allusion to her feet! As Ernest Jones, his friend and biographer puts it " Freud was someone whose instincts were far more powerful than those of the average man but whose repressions were even more potent! "
Immediately after his marriage at the age of thirty, Freud started in private practice. The inadequacy of the methods currently in use for the treatment of "nervous diseases" forced him to seek for new and more effective weapons for his" therapeutic arsenal." He discarded the then popular electrotherapy as having" no more relation to reality than an Egyptian dream book."
In its place he used hypnosis (which he had seen used by Charcot and later by Bernheim at Nancy) to enable the patient to recall forgotten events and for making suggestions to modify the patient's subsequent behaviour. Even this method Freud found limited as it was not possible to hypnotise all his patients or always produce a sufficient depth of trance for suggestion to be effective.
Josef Breuer, one of Freud's friends had developed a new technique for healing hysteria, a condition which results in paralyses and other physical disturbances arising without any apparent organic basis. Breuer had hypnotised Anna 0., a talented, attractive young patient, had relaxed her and encouraged her to talk about anything that came into her head. Eventually, the girl recounted in detail and with full emotional reactions a painful incident which she had repressed from awareness and her symptoms disappeared. Freud reasoned that traumatic events, though forgotten, could still be operative at an unconscious level and were the direct cause of the physical symptoms of the hysteria. The collaboration of Freud and Breuer Essays on the Theory of Sexuality came culminated in their joint publication in in 1905. In this, his second major 1895 of Studies in Hysteria publication, he formalises his ideas on A mutual attraction developed be- the development of the sexual instinct tween Breuer and Anna. When his from infancy to maternity and demonwife became jealous, complaining that strates the intrinsic relationship between he could talk about no one else, Breuer sexual perversion, neurosis and develop broke off treatment, never to return to ment in early childhood.
Freud, however, persevered. He refined the technique of free association which he gradually used to replace hypnosis. Through his experiences with patients and perhaps more importantly, his own protracted selfanalysis he gradually came to focus attention on childhood and place particular emphasis on the key role of early sexual development in the formation of neurosis.
1900 saw the publication of the first major work on psychoanalysis, The Interpretation of Dreams. In this Freud sets out his theory of the unconscious and of repression and attempts to show how mental phenomena such as dreams and neurosis are a product of conflict between different mental systems. The book was either ignored or reviewed badly and it took six years to sell the 600 copies printed (Freud received less than £50 from its publication). The Three
A band of devoted followers, later to become the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society, gradually began to gather round Freud. He was particularly gratified by the support and interest shown by Carl Jung, a young Swiss psychiatrist. With the growing international recognition of psychoanalysis Freud was invited to deliver a series of guest lectures in the U.S.A. Freud characteristically prepared these during the course of a brisk half-hour walk immediately before each lecture.
The Circle Splits
In the following year came a steady stream of publications on psychoanalytic technique and theory. Freud now numbered the eminent among his patients who included, for example, Gustav Mahler. But they were years also marked by growing dissension in the close knit psychoanalytic circle, which culminated in the secession of Adler from the group in 1911 followed, to Freud's especial sorrow, by Jung in 1914.
The end of the First World War saw Freud living in defeated Vienna on a diet of thin vegetable soup and treating patients in an unheated consulting room dressed in overcoat and gloves. In 1920 he published the most controversial and least accepted of all his words, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, where he postulated Thanatos, the instinct within us all that strives for death. One may well speculate about the effect that the violence of the war and the death of his daughter Sophie that same year had had on his thinking.
Fame and Cancer
In the twenties Freud's work largely centred on the development of Ego psychology, in particular on the analysis of the characteristic ways in which the ego is able to defend itself from the anxiety aroused by the external world and by repressed instinctual drives. His daughter Anna, the only one of Freud's children to follow in his footsteps, was to elaborate these ideas subsequently.
1923 was marred by the first symptoms of the cancer of the jaw that eventually led to thirty-three operations and was to torment Freud until the end of his life. By now he was enjoying world fame. In 1924 he was offered $25,000 or "anything he cared to name" by the Chicago Tribune to psychoanalyse two murderers who had caught the headlines in the U.S.A. Sam Goldwyn also offered Freud $100,000 to work on a film of famous love scenes from history. Freud refused both offers.
Freud's final writings were devoted, as for example Civilisation and its Discontents, to sociological considerations and an analysis of man's relationship with society. Hitler came to power in 1933. Shortly after, Freud's writings along with those of Einstein and H.G. Wells were blazing in public bonfires. Freud was still in Austria when the Nazi invasion took place in 1938. Eventually, after representations on Freud's behalf had been made by Mussolini among others, he was allowed to leave. He moved to London where he died on 23rd September, 1939.
TO MANY people psychoanalysis means little more than that infants are supposed to do in infancy what adults do in adultery. To give a brief adequate account of Freudian theory is a little like describing the operation of a motor car in five six letter words. Freud's own theories were developed and modified over a life time. His use of animistic imagery for conceptUalising intangible mental phenomena invites misunderstanding. To make matters worse, to many analysts and analysands psychoanalysis has not much meaning unless you undergo the process and experience what is being talked about. Otherwise it is like trying to adequately convey the experience of waterskiing or going up in a balloon by merely talking about it.
It you want a potted account, however, read on.
There are three basic areas which are fundamental to an understanding of psychoanalysis. They are intrapsychic conflict, the unconscious and the development of the sexual instinct and its effects on personality and behaviour.
A man is not a unity. There are broadly three different types of forces within him, forces which may and often do conflict. Freud called the first of these the id. The id is the source of all instinctual energy, primitive, seeking only to satisfy itself, to relieve tension through pleasure. This pleasure can come through action leading to consummation or through fantasy.
The young baby is dominated by id impulses. If he is in pain tension builds up, immediate gratification is demanded and he screams for a bottle or a nappy change. If his needs are met, tension is relieved and he rests back satisfied.
As a child grows older, his perceptual and motor abilities develop.He is gradually able to build up ideas, to " internalise" his external world.
He is no longer merely a passive recipient, he can act upon his world. Another principle now begins to emerge
In conjunction with the pleasure principle, the reality principle. The ego, as Freud calls it, mediates between the individual and the external world. Like the id it is also concerned with obtaining pleasure but this has to be by means of reality. To obtain maximum pleasure or to avoid pain, the ego may see it is necessary to postpone immediate gratification. If this occurs, although they are both in the service of the same end, the ego may come into conflict with the id.
When the infant becomes a young child, he is generally subject to demands from adults, especially parents, to mould his behaviour in particular ways. The child is likely to identify with one or other of his parents and he will " introject" their demands.Their injunctions become internalised. Immediate control by others then may not always be necessary, the child develops a superego or conscience. The superego become an important source of internal conflict as moral teaching and demands made by parents in our society are frequently in opposition to instinctual needs.
Freud did not mean to imply that id, ego and superego are identifiable processes in the human brain. Rather they are conceptualisations to refer to the forces which govern behaviour, one of instinctual, hereditary origin, the others a function of learning, especially early learning.
These forces often want to go in opposite directions. An adolescent may feel sexual desire and wish to relieve this through masturbation. But he has been taught, perhaps, that masturbation is evil, or perhaps even that it could cause him harm, so both superego and ego (which is a function of the way that a person perceives reality even though his perception may not be valid) in this case oppose the drive.
Much of living consists of conflicts, major or minor, when part of us wants to go in one direction, the other part in another. The way we resolve these conflicts makes our personality what it is. We may be "hysterical." In the face of conflict we repress unacceptable drives and deny their existence. Alternatively, desire or hostility which arouses guilt through conflict with superego principles may be projected on to others. This projection is frequently onto members of minority or " out" groups. So respectable middleclass negroes may be seen as reeking with lust.The behaviour of meek,
middle-class students may be interpreted as cloaking reckless promiscuity. This projection, through allowing the projector to dwell" justifiably" and at length on the faults of others, may provide him with the opportunity for a degree of vicarious satisfaction without guilt. An obsessive, on the other hand may handle unacceptable impulses by " isolating" them, i.e., by admitting them to awareness but at the same time stripping them of all emotional intensity. Or the anxiety aroused by the conflict may be assuaged by ritual "undoing." Carefully avoiding stepping on the cracks in the pavement or excessive hand washing, for example, may represent ways of " undoing" or expiating disturbing impulses.
With this type of explanation, the analyst is able to make sense of a good deal of apparently paradoxical behaviour. Outward shows may be least themselves. It may be just that person who is so concerned to demonstrate how masculine he is, who may be uneasily harbouring latent homosexual or feminine tendencies.
Impulses which are repressed from awareness do not therefore cease to exist. They may still affect behaviour even though we are unaware of them. They may emerge in distorted form in our dreaming or fantasies. They may influence our small mistakes and slips of the tongue. They may emerge in the form of neurotic symptoms. These may take (quite rarely nowadays though) physical form-even paralysis or blindness, or they may take the form of vague generalised anxiety, generated by conflicts of which we may be unaware. Or perhaps we may perform senseless, useless actions without knowing why.
Because the analyst needs to see the whole person, much of analysis consists of uncovering repressed material, making the unconscious conscious. To this end, the analyst may use free association, dream interpretation (by unravelling the distortions imposed by the censorship of the ego on unconscious impulses) and close analysis of the patient's behaviour.
One of Freud's greatest findings (one which has been amply vindicated since by more scientific research) was his realisation of the tremendous importance of childhood, particularly the first five years of life. The young child's mind is peculiarly plastic, unable to always clearly differentiate fantasy from reality and is without developed mechanisms to cope with pain and anxiety. It is at this time that traumatic events (or events subjectively perceived by the child as traumatic even though they may not be viewed as such by its parents) can have their most telling effect.
Freud placed particular importance on the development of the sexual instinct by which he meant in a broad sense the drive to gain pleasure from stimulation of various bodily areas. He considered the child to advance through a biologically pre-set sequence of development. The first phase takes place over the first five years of life. The child's initial focus of attention is on gratification by means of sucking. As teeth develop his pleasure comes through biting.
In the first year his whole happiness depends almost entirely on others. If his needs are satisfied his reaction to the external world will be geared to optimism. If he is deprived his impression of the world may be of a painful hostile place. Fixation at this stage may result in an adult overconcerned with oral satisfactions, chewing sweets, smoking, talking and drinking.
As he grows older, becomes mobile and develops the capacity to communicate with his parents, in Western Society the child is expected to gain control over his bowel movements and excrete only at the proper time and place. This poses an important conflict for the growing child. In addition to the need to control the pleasure he can obtain through retention and elimination of faeces he is now, perhaps for the first time, in a position to manipulate behaviour. He is requested to do something. He can submit, rebel or accept the pattern without much conflict. The analyst would consider that the foundation for important personality traits is laid down at this stage. Depending on how the child resolves the conflict he may later become obsessive, a hoarding personality, creative, sadistic, submissive or rebellious.
In the third phase, the child of four or five turns his attention to his genitals. Contact with children of the opposite sex may arouse curiosity. The young child may enjoy masturbation or arousal situations like bath time or being bumped up and down on daddy's knee. A little girl if she comes into contact with boys, perhaps younger brothers, may experience a sense of loss at not possessing a penis. The boy, at this stage, may develop strong feelings of attraction towards his mother. This attraction may be complicated by a feeling of rivalry with his father which may lead to fear and hostility. This is the well-known Oedipus complex. There is some reason for considering, rather than being universal, this may be a function of the family structure found in certain societies like that, for example, of Freud's time. The way the five-year-old boy handles this conflict again will determine his adult sexual and psychological pattern. Satisfactory adjustment may be made by intensified identification with his father. Sexual feelings re-emerge at puberty. These are no longer auto-erotic but generally involve a search for a partner. The pattern they adopt now and the type of partner chosen will depend in a complex way on the events of the infantile period.So Freud explained sexual perversions where the satisfaction obtained comes primarily from oral or anal as opposed to genital contact, as being largely the result of a fixation at one or other of the infantile stages, a fixation which occurred through either lack of or over gratification at that time.
As indicated before, personality and neurotic traits are also very much a function of this early development. The type of reaction learnt in conjunction with each stage may predominate in the adult. So a person may be generous or mean, obsessive or hysterical, optimistic or pessimistic and so on in various degrees and combinations.
What happens when you go to a Freudian analyst:
I.-In the initial interview the analyst would endeavour to find about the conscious you and what you felt was wrong. He would probe your background, family, present environment, work life, any significant incidents which had occurred and your personal relationships. At this stage, he would try to make a tentative diagnosis and decide whether to take you as a patient or refer you elsewhere.
2.- The next stage is designed to uncover unconscious aspects of your personality. You would lie relaxed on the famous couch, with the analyst out of sight behind you, saying anything that came to mind. The fundamental role of analysis is that you should not inhibit or hold back anything. You might recount dreams, experiences; inevitably thoughts would drift back eventually to childhood days.The analyst's aim is not to intervene, to remain neutral, objective, to piece together your personality at all levels.
3.-Eventually he would begin to convey his interpretation to you. The aim now would be to get you to be aware of your repressions and your characteristic defences, to get you to replace, unconscious, irrational mechanisms by conscious, rational decision. To this end the analyst would use "transference." During the course of the analysis you would project on to him or " transfer" your attitudes, loves, hates, especially those developed towards those people who had been significant to you in early life. The primary reason for the analyst's withdrawn neutrality is to facilitate this process. The transference normally has a positive phase where the patient may become very closely emotionally attached to his analyst and a negative phase where he may become hostile.
When the transference process has been worked through the patient is in a position to recognise the reasons underlying the irrationality of his behaviour and perhaps is able to modify this and learn more appropriate reactions. The foregoing account is a generalisation, of course. The pattern of treatment will depend on analyst and patient. No two analyses are ever quite the same.
Some other strands in the web of psychoanalytic tradition:
Alfred Adler was the first to break with Freud in 1911 ostensibly because of theoretical differences whereby Adler saw" striving for superiority" as the primary motivating force in human behaviour. Carl Jung, Freud's" Crown Prince" was the next to break away, also in disagreement with Freud's emphasis on sexuality. Jung went on to develop his own school of "Analytical Psychology." He developed among other ideas that of the" collective unconscious." This refers to the deepest strata of the unconscious which Jung saw as being a residue from experiences acquired during man's evolutionary development. Jung never very successfully combatted accusations of Lamarckian thinking underlying this concept. With its quasi-mystical but very positive emphasis on developing the patient's potentialities through" individualation" (basically the process of utilising the deep, inner forces of one's unconscious and completing the" self") Jungian analysis has had considerable appeal for artists and creative people.
Theories developed by the psychoanalytic pioneers clearly owe a lot to introspection and self analysis. Their own personalities proved the most fertile source of their ideas. It is instructive to compare the personalities of the theorists with the emphasis of their theories. Freud, a man of strong but inhibited passions, emphasised sexuality; Adler, a short but ambitious Jew suffering, according to the accounts of his contemporaries, pronounced inferiority feelings, emphasised "Compensation for inferiority"; and Jung with a Lutheran pastor for a father, displayed besides a ponderous German erudition, a love of mysticism and a dislike of Freud's sexual emphasis. Certainly a good deal of the conflict between these men is explicable as being generated by personal incompatibility rather than by more rational differences.
Personal experience was also a dominating influence on the NeoFreudians. Erich Fromm and Karen Horney, both emigres from Germany to the U.S.A. during the thirties and both strongly influenced by Marxist thinking, broadened Freud's ideas to place much more emphasis on social factors in the development of personality and neurosis. Fromm provides a bridge between Marxist and Freudian ideas, rejecting Marx's concept of personality as essentially a function of the prevalent, economic system and Freud's emphasis on the opposition of individual and society. Fromm in inspired historical analyses of different social contexts from Fascism to Capitalism, demonstrates how personality and society mutually interact. The NeoFreudians, through related theorists like Erik Erikson and Harry Stack Sullivan, have had a considerable influence on American psychiatry.
In Britain, where there was a preponderance of women analysts, the emphasis turned towards the analysis of children. Both Freud's daughter, Anna and Melanie Klein, another emigre, have created new methods or modified orthodox techniques to this end. Klein has also developed some important theoretical differences from Freud's theory in relation to early childhood development and she has tended to emphasise the importance of aggression as opposed to sexuality as a formative influence. Anna Freud, along with Hartmann and others has also taken up the lead given by Freud in his later writing with a more extended analysis of ego functions.
William James, Wilhelm Wundt, J. B. Watson. These were all more or less contemporaries of Freud and equally, if not more, eminent in their time. Yet how many of them are known today? How old fashioned they sound. Whereas the image of Freud remains almost as fresh and modern as that of hippies or polystyrene. There is no denial of Freud's impact on twentieth century society. His concepts, however garbled, are a part of modern vocabulary, are inherent in the way we conceptualise. It is sometimes hard to appreciate the originality of Freud's contribution precisely because he is now part of the way we think. Freud must be counted with Darwin, Einstein and Marx as one of the profound influences on this present age.
However, in spite of all the assertions of the analysts, psychoanalysis cannot be considered a science within any meaningful use of that term. Numerous critics have pointed to the lack of empirical validation for Freudian hypotheses, the circularity and indeed the intestability of many psychoanalytic concepts. What empirical follow-up that has been done by the psychologists suggests that there are more than a good few holes in the psychoanalytic fabric. Some hypotheses have been established as having some validity but others have fared less well.
To say this is not to deny the quality of Freud's observations and the greatness of his work. It is merely to argue, as for example, Alasdair McIntyre has done, that Freud's contribution is that of the novelist rather than of the scientist. His descriptions have sensitised us to important aspects of behaviour and increased our ability to perceive its origins and underlying meaningfulness. But it is understanding of a literary kind, subtle but imprecise and unquantifiable, not fulfilling to any degree the scientific ideals of measurement, prediction and control.
Even the value of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method can be severely questioned. Relatively few objective studies have been done to assess the success of analysis. The majority of these suggest results little better than treatment of any kind. However, the technical difficulties of assessments of this sort are substantial and the results tell us little more than the validity of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method has not been satisfactorily proven. It is only fair to point out that this conclusion is likely to apply to nearly all other forms of therapy at present available which attempt to produce gross behavioural changes in the life pattern of an individual. From a pragmatic point of view, mf:rely in view of the length and expense of treatment required, psychoanalysis has relatively little to offer for the cure of specific symptoms in an everyday medical setting. Other methods currently being developed such as behaviour therapy may well have more potential in this context.
Where psychoanalysis has most to offer, in my opinion, is as practical, ethical philosophy. As Philip Rieff has pointed out, Freud is "not only the first completely irreligious moralist, he is a moralist without even a moralising message." Freud, with the characteristic detachment of the scientist of his time, considered value judgments to have no place in his theory. Yet paradoxically his theories have important ethical implications. Much of his
theorising inevitably leads to a debunking of accepted values and ethical principles. In Freud's terms perversion is no longer sin, it is mere childishness; religious belief as a denial of the painful realities of death and insignificance, partakes of the quality of neurosis; revolutionary action becomes a replay of childish revolt against the father and unthinking patriotism a mere re-enactment of childhood submission. Whether the specific Freudian explanations are precisely the correct ones is not the point. The fact that such clearly held convictions may have their origin in the chance vagaries of development defuses their potency.
Psychoanalysis is essentially a denial of the absolute. The essence of analysis is to get the patient to live his life without the prop of beliefs lacking conscious rational bases. One can see Freud's philosophy as the precursor of the contemporary hippie pattern of non-involvement, of " playing it coo!." The point of differentiation is that for Freud not anything goes, what goes must be reality in as far as it is possible to determine it.
One could argue that the failure of psychology and psychiatry to develop effective therapy for patients leading inadequate and maladjusted lives is partially a function of their insistent attempt to avoid direct contact with the ethical and orientation systems of their patients. Major therapy to change ineffectual life patterns, at least for an intelligent patient, must touch on his beliefs and orientations to the world at large. Freudian analysis does offer the patient some chance of coming to ten-ns with the reality of his situation and of what he is. Whether this will be conducive to happiness or even adjustment will depend on the individual patient. It may well be that psychoanalysis is better regarded as an education for the healthy rather than as a cure for the weak.
The paradoxical position of Freudian analysis is that while its attempt to break down the illusions forced on us by id, ego and superego may be seen as positive, one could also regard the destruction of these illusions without replacement as a sort of negative nihilism. One way in which Jung and Erich Fromm, for example, differ from Freud is in their attempt to provide formulae by which their patients can live. Jung offers the mystic process of individuation, Fromm the humanist virtue of productive love.
The nihilism implicit in Freudian theory might be considered to have important potential consequences for Western society. The debunking of dogmatic, moralistic systems and the exposition of the idea of the universality of instinctual demands may not only have provided an important impetus in launching the permissive society but may also contribute to the toppling of what Weber has called the Protestant Ethic. To undermine beliefs, to reduce the need for sublimation, to lessen the guilt generated by early conflict may be, if one accepts a Freudian viewpoint, to adulterate the initiative, drive and purpose that led to the prosperity of industrialised Western Society. Permissive education and the provision of direct outlets for instinctual satisfaction (at least in the U.S.A. and in Britain and other European countries) may well eventually work in this direction.
Whether you regard this process as welcome or otherwise depends on your point of view. In any case, even should it occur, the development will probably be counterbalanced by increased automation and organisational effectiveness.
THE CONTEMPORARY SCENE
Jungian analysts number approximately seventy and about half a dozen work on Adlerian lines. The U.S.A., of course, is where most analysts are to be found and not just because they need it more. It takes an American to afford the expense analysis is likely to involve, perhaps twice a week sessions for over two years at not insubstantial fees. A high fee is considered an essential part of the treatment-it's said to make the patient more co-operative.The American Psychoanalytical Association (primarily Freudian) claims approximately 1,000 members. In Britain, the demand for psychoanalytical services is increasing rapidly. A recent estimate puts the number of practising Freudian analysts at nearly
Ireland boasts about five operative analysts, though they might not be recognised as such by the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. They are primarily centred in the Irish Psychoanalytic Association which operates from a peaceful, old, rambling house in Monkstown. The impetus for their initial existence came from their late founder Jonathan Hanaghan, a warmhearted, inspiring and in some ways brilliant man who came from England to Dublin in 1917 and gathered a small group of devoted disciples round him in a manner not unreminiscent of Freud's early Vienna circle.
The therapeutic approach adopted seems on fairly orthodox analytic lines, except for the unusual (and perhaps somewhat paradoxical) fusion of Christian beliefs and principles with Freudian techniques. Patients range from priests to charwomen. Fees depend on the patient's ability to pay. The analysts work long and hard and, orthodox or not, provide, I would consider, a useful service; perhaps one of the few places in Ireland where people can at least talk out their problems without hurry or restriction.