PS 346 - Psychoanalysis as Psychodynamic Therapy and Social Theory in Contemporary Culture

This course assumes students have taken at least one introductory course in psychology and are generally familiar with the basic concepts of Freudian psychology. The course explores the state of medicine in 19th Century Viennese society to help students understand the culture in which Sigmund Freud laid the foundations of modern psychology. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students explore the relevance of psychoanalysis and its offshoots, such as existential psychology and psychodynamic psychotherapy to the issues that concern contemporary culture. The course invites students to address such questions as the following. Is psychoanalysis still a viable means of therapy in the 21st century? Can a psychoanalytical or psychodynamic perspective help resolve conflicts of contemporary life such as immigration and questions of cultural identity, gender, sexual orientation, etc? The course includes field study of historical sites relevant to the emergence of psychoanalysis in Vienna. Contemporary practitioners of psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy, and their detractors as humanistic psychology as developed in a Person Centred Approach by Carl R. Rogers are invited into the classroom to engage students in debate with practicing professionals.

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