Title

Abandoned: An Analysis of Freud's Position on Religion

Abstract

It goes without saying that Sigmund Freud was one of the most important contributors to the formation of psychological theory. Freud's theories were largely concerned with his construction of the role of a psychotherapist, and his psychoanalytical viewpoint. Though influential, Freud's psychoanalysis was also a business model for the new position of therapist, a role traditionally delegated to clergy members. That meant that Freud could put himself, as psychotherapist, in the esteemed position of clergy and become a sort of medical Father Confessor. To do that, he had to undermine the authority of the Church in any way possible. Whether intentional or not, Freud's outright dismissal of religion in psychotherapy is indicative of his desire to take its place, especially evidenced through his writings in The Interpretation of Dreams (1994). The problem with dismissing religion's role in psychotherapy has been discussed since Freud; he is not representative of all psychologists, or even of all members of the school of psychoanalysis. Most other theorists understood the value of religion both to the person and to therapy. Even if Freud were correct in his statements about the etiology of religious beliefs, he still ignored a potential source of therapeutic insight. This is a damaging strategy which was not universally shared; denying such an important part of the human experience is simply dangerous for the psychotherapist.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2006

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Lavooy, Maria J.

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Psychology

Subjects

Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0022009

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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