On The Absurd Notion of Burying Freud
Gibbs A. Williams, Ph.D.
 

Dear Ian and any other interested parties,

I find the whole notion of dismissing Freud's extraordinary contribution in helping truth-seeking individuals attempt to objectify their subjective chaos, the quintessence of closed mindedness. As a once troubled youth who became a more troubled man, I sought out professional help many times. The first was a four-year psychotherapy experience, twice a week, with a noted Sullivanian therapist. I left therapy with essentially the same unresolved problem I had upon beginning, believing that my sorry condition was equivalent to existential reality and that I would just have to learn to tough it out. My next attempt to cut through my fog was with a Gestalt therapist who I saw twice a week for two years. I felt a certain trust for him as a human being, a step up for me, but I again gained little insight into my unidentified core difficulty. I went to many group therapy sessions, became immersed in the esoteric occult, enrolled in graduate school and became a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Finally, no longer willing to tolerate a deep depression, I sought out and found a classical psychoanalyst.

On my first visit I felt as if I had known him all my life. That instant rapport attunement experience never changed over a period of eleven years, three times a week, on the couch, no insurance. He had fled Nazi Germany a number of years ago having spoken no English and studied to be a Freudian analyst. He was the first person to finally accurately diagnose my complex problem and lay out a road map with a set of comprehensible directions as to how together we might make a potentially salutary journey into my inner space.

In the course of our work I learned to cathect (make come alive) my inner reality. I connected to my passionate id, my weak and fragile ego, my punitive, primitive super ego, my almost non existent self, my sharpened intuition, my dogged persistence in the face of a life time of bleakness and despair, my lack of psychic structure, and most importantly my personal unconscious. I learned how to make my dreams useful in understanding my patent contradictions. I learned how I was a captive to my traumatic past and how not being loved had left me with severe emotional and intellectual scarring. I experienced how ghosts of my past were haunting me in my blurry present taking the form of compulsively repeating theme and variation of my childhood and adolescent nightmares. I realized how I was daily acting out the Hamlet problem of to be or not to be - the outcome always tenuous and uncertain. I learned that Freud's supposed absurd death wish concept was a very real central fact of my life.

As I gradually learned to master the foreign language of psychoanalysis, including such concepts as positive and negative transference, psychological boundaries, and projected authority, (experiencing them not simply as disembodied ideas used as heuristic devices to play inconsequential mind games) rather, these concepts became for me vividly bright beacons to light the dark recesses of my deadened soul. Gradually, session by session, connection by connection, I came to understand my own process by which I tried to make sense out of what often appeared to me to be sheer non sense. As I learned how to identify the splits in myself and to trace them back to their traumatic origins, viewing them through the perspective of adult eyes, I began accessing and liberating suppressed and repressed energies, desires, strangulated wishes, and simple wants and needs. This led to finally being able to change the course of my life's trip to go in a direction that I had longed to travel but had all but given up hope that I would be able to do so. I have no doubt that my psychoanalytic experience was both as process and as outcome: a rich tapestry of science and art (a combination of accumulated practical wisdom filtered down through history.)

There was not one word of mumbo jumbo. I was free and encouraged to challenge anything and everything said and done, verifying all that I heard on a daily basis. Obviously I am an impassioned advocate and could extol the virtues of my grand experience for a long, long time. But I believe I have said enough to make my point. Thus, in the light of my hard won victory, I find it utterly impossible to conceive of dismissing, let alone burying Freud when he and some of his successors through, and with the addition of my beloved analyst: Dr. Rudolf Wittenberg, were directly responsible for enabling me to rise from the dead.

Burying Freud

22nd February,1998
 
Gibbs A.Williams Ph.D.
41 5th Avenue,
Suite 11-A
New York, NY 10003
Private Practice