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A cornerstone of Freudian psychoanalytic theory and practice is the provision of insight into the unconscious and, therefore, to change. This book examines and evaluates this principle. The first three chapters assess questions of mental illness and neurosis: are these medical notions? What is a nervous illness ? Is it related to human personality and if so what does it mean to talk of its treatment? The author then goes on to look at the role of interlocutor in psychoanalysis. This in turn raises the central principle of insight (the unconscious becoming conscious). The author offers a critique and definition of the process. The final part of the book asks what the goals of psychoanalysis are and what Freud himself meant by self-control. It examines the extent to which a person's beliefs and conditions can influence their response to treatment or, conversely, the extent to which the principles of psychoanalysis determine clinical success.
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