Freud Is Everywhere but in Psych Dept

Psychoanalysis is thriving in culture, obsolete in psychology
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2007 10:59 AM CST
An action figure of Sigmund Freud photographed in the waiting room of Freud's former office in Vienna.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Sigmund Freud's ideas have seeped into every corner of popular culture and academia, from film to foreign policy. The one place they've seeped out of is university psychology departments, where psychoanalysis is now viewed as obsolete, the New York Times reports. A new survey of 150 top colleges and universities confirms the couch's comedown: of 1,175 courses that referenced psychoanalysis, more than 86% were offered in other departments.

Academics eagerly infuse Freudian theories into new fields from post-colonial studies to Queer theory. In psychology, however, psychoanalysis has been doomed by its lack of "empirical rigor and testing." And in the world of practice, new psychotropic drugs and the refusal of most insurance companies to pay for psychoanalysis have also helped marginalize its founder.