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Psychodyn Psychiatry. 2018 Spring;46(1):115-134. doi: 10.1521/pdps.2018.46.1.115.

Psychoanalysis Today-A Pseudoscience? A Critique of the Arbitrary Nature of Psychoanalytic Theories and Practice.

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Univ.-Prof., former Director of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine of the University of Saarland, Training Analyst (DPG, DGPT).


The article centers on psychoanalysts' indifferent attitude to the mutually exclusivity of theoretical conceptualizations and the ensuing technical rules for treatment. In the author's view this indifference is due to psychoanalysts being business people for whom the exchange value of their service is essentially of greater interest than its utility value, which latter is only of interest as a means of realizing the former. The author argues that, as a consequence of the disparate coexisting conceptualizations being treated as equally valid, psychoanalysis becomes a science without truth, that is, a pseudoscience, and demonstrates that all attempts to appropriate the epithet ornans "scientific" to psychoanalysis by linking its concepts to findings in areas beyond its conceptual field have failed. Finally, he offers a proposal of how the situation might be altered.


conflicting conceptualizations; pseudoscience; psychoanalysis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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