PROFESSIONAL AUDITOR’S BULLETIN
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_____________________________________________________________________10 July 1956
A CRITIQUE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS
It is necessary to understand first that we are actually indebted to psychoanalysis and its originator, the debarred doctor, Sigmund Freud. My basic, if unappreciated, education in the field of the mind came from Commander Thompson of the Medical Corps of the US Navy, who was Freud’s personal student. Better than others, then, some sixty-two years after Freud’s original declarations, I could be considered qualified to criticize the failure of not only the basic work of Freud but the later offshoots which, while following his original tenets, yet sought to expand information on psychoanalysis. Very few living analysts today have as direct a connection with the subject as I do and there are few who can boast of the successes with the subject which I can. For I have used psychoanalysis as a practitioner and have achieved some certain successes with it, were one to call a success the sporadic eradication of the severe neurosis in a known mental patient. Further, there is my own enfranchisement by the Freudians when they were all but obliterated in Europe by Russia.
Having established then my possible qualifications to criticize and having compounded such right by having bettered the results of Freud, I feel it is necessary to overhaul rapidly the points of failure of psychoanalysis as we understand the mind today.
We find another error in psychoanalysis under the heading of “transference.” The actual definition of “transference” in psychoanalysis is sufficiently unstable to bring about considerable argument as to what is meant by transference. In fact, in Dianetics we had to re-establish an entirely different condition which we called “valences” to denote the shift from one’s own personality into that of another.
Transference in psychoanalysis was used to denote the transference of the patient into the valence of the practitioner. This was the way which Commander Thompson described the phenomenon to me and nothing has been learnt from later analysts to disprove this basic definition of Freud’s.
We know in Dianetics and Scientology that the acquisition of additional valences means no more and no less than a scarcity of identities. One wonders a little at a practitioner who would be so certain of his own high quality that he would demand that every patient assume the analyst’s identity. This presents us with a very amusing picture of an entire world full of analysts.
However, there were other connotations to this thing called transference. But their significance was never plumbed or solved in the field of psychoanalysis. A valence, the assumption of the identity of another, can be quite destructive to the personality of any person, but such an action means only a scarcity of identities. Requiring a person to invent identities brings about a drop in the number of personalities obsessively held or dramatized by that person.
However, transference accidentally was not a totally bad step, but a step actually in the right direction. The analyst made the person aware of the fact that he could assume at least one more identity and this, we suppose, was the basis of all therapeutic results obtained by the use of transference. But the loss of one’s own personality to the extent of assuming yet another identity—that of the analyst—could not have proved other than destructive to the personality of the patient, and thus we must assume that the entire sphere of transference was an error.
As we increase this list you may find it questionable that psychoanalysis ever intended at any time to improve anyone if they used only those methods and mechanisms calculated to depress and enslave the patient. However, there was the saving grace of giving to the patients’ difficulties the attention of the analyst, and this mixed with the ingredient of humanity, mercy and kindness must have produced what results were produced by psychoanalysis.
- Hubbard, L. R. (1956, 10 July). A Critique on Psychoanalysis (Professional Auditor’s Bulletin 92). The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology (1991 ed., Vol. III, pp. 443-449). Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, Inc. ↩