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"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." Sigmund Freud, speaking about the Irish.
March 17, 2005 at 09:03 PM in Holiday Special | Permalink
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Last night, I watched The Departed on DVD and heard this quote by Freud for the first time and related immediately. I spend six months in an intensive, in-patient, cog-therapy based drug and alcohol treatment with no success in the psychoanalysis department. I have no desire to pick apart my brain and would much rather exercise, meditate, practice yoga or just tell the world to "Fuck off and leave me alone!" than to sit with a therapist and discuss my problems or way of thinking. I never thought that it could be my Irish ancestry influencing my resistence. Hmmm...I think that I'll write a little note to my counselor reminding her of Freud's opinion and then maybe she won't feel so inadequate. Ha!
February 20, 2007 at 09:20 AM
Being of Irish decent and having gone to psychologists, my take is that he was unable to understand the Irish mind. He couldn't keep up so it had to be the Irish with the problem. He was Freud, all knowing father of psychiatry. I've found that the psychologists can't keep up. I spent an hour finding different ways to say the same thing and she still didn't understand what I meant.
February 25, 2007 at 07:13 AM
Freud practised psychoanalysis, which has no scientific grounding and has no place in the realm of modern psychology.
Psychiatrists administer drugs, psychologists do not.
Get it straight.
February 25, 2007 at 06:17 PM
While you are technically correct, get off your assumed superiority pedestal. Your quote did not further the discussion but was instead the annoying corrections of someone who merely read a dictionary. Truth be told, psychoanalysis played a role in influencing modern psychology. Therefore, the quote is of consequence to the modern application of mental healthcare. Additionally, psychologists and psychiatrists often subscribe to the same schools of treatment. Although psychoanalysis suffers from a lack of empirical data that supports the more modern theories, this does not automatically discredit an observation made by Freud based on years of professional experience and clinical observation. Thanks for being another wanna-be Euro-elitist with insecurity problems.
February 26, 2007 at 07:04 AM
I am 3rd generation Irish American. Hardly anybody in my family could be described as mellow, and we are all certainly stubborn. I think stubborness is both a coping and a defense mechanism and some assert one of the most valuble gifts of the Holy Spirit (perseverance).
If I sat you down (on a couch) and told you to trust me while I stripped you of your veil of protection, your coping mechanism, all for the purpose of summing you up with some free association exercise or personality inventory, would you do it?
Think how absurd it is in the first place to be measuring a man by his metaphors.
March 03, 2007 at 08:23 AM
Actually Freud never said this. One of his followers said that Freud categorized people as "Irish and non-Irish." He did in fact have a dilemma with the study of Irish people but is not evident outright in his writings.
March 07, 2007 at 05:05 PM
but ye are americans, not irish.
March 18, 2007 at 07:49 PM
Any generalization is false, including this one.
Will Mc |
May 03, 2007 at 06:36 AM
there is a lot of impatience directed at other people here. i believe it is not necessary.
June 15, 2007 at 06:02 AM
i dont know if this is still live, but paddy was right - ye are american - and you wont find sites in ireland discussing said shite - i will giv you the sames piece of advice as I give to my austrian friends - something that messrs Frued et al should have followed - wise up and catch yourself on - it should save you a fortune in couch time - its called stoicism and all the poor people of the world developed it together.
Best wishes and much love to all
Dr Mick Mc Irish/paddy whackery
July 15, 2007 at 05:15 PM
I am Irish, not just by blood but by upbringing. The Irish are easy to gain a resentment. They are an unforgiving stock that never see how their OWN actions may have aided in the resentments that they hold. Bottom line, they lack humility. People who can not feel humility can not be helped. They can't only see the wong that has been done them, never the other way around. Add booze and catholosism, you got imperviousness.
July 18, 2007 at 11:38 AM
poor Sigmund - he was a product of his times and a flawed product, so now people kick him about as if he had proclaimed himself God. He didn't. Others did. And most Freud bashers miss the entire point of his "greatness" - get into context here folks - late 19th century, no indoor plumbing or internet, most of society rural, still huge chunks of illiterate superstitious peasants (like us irish) and religion ruled: Freud was the first one in modern times to define "the self", an entity which existed within us and was not a slave to religion - the "self" could be studied, cured, examined, evolve. You don't have to agree, but this was an entirely new way of looking at human beings. And, i might add, something we now all pretty much subscribe to without realizing it was Freud who really popularized the idea. Einstein helped split the atom but you can't blame him for the bomb. Freud helped define the self but you can't blame him for all the nonsense his followers have done
Charles O'Meara |
September 03, 2007 at 07:00 AM
The Irish doesn't leave the body because the body left Ireland.
September 05, 2007 at 03:09 PM
Born in UK, total celtic ancestry, psychoanalysis is narcissistic and thus conflicts with the irish soul. The irish cannot be separated from nature and the supernatural. The Irish poets intuitively knew this, especially Yeats when he intertwined Irish mist and the soul to form the uniquely irish consciousness. sorry, if i sound like a hopeless romantic, but analysis is surgical reduction of Irish humanity.
October 07, 2007 at 09:01 PM
As a Clinical Psychologist trained in the late 1970s mostly by analysts, I was surprised that I never heard of the "Irish" comment before last week. I spent so many years reading and studying Freud, it's strange that I never came across this comment. I'm sure I would have remembered it because I'm what the Irish refer to as a "narrowback" - an first generation American with both parents born in Ireland.
The issue is what exactly did Freud mean when he said it. Did he mean it as an insult, a compliment or neither? You also have to wonder how many Irishmen or Irishwomen he knew and under what circumstances. Did he ever try to analyze an Irish person? Freud did spend some time in England and you wonder if his attitudes were influenced by the English opinions of the Irish.
I suppose we will never know, but it's an interesting topic for discussion.
Jack Collins |
November 17, 2007 at 06:41 PM
IM NOT SO SURE IF THIS STSATEMENT CAME FROM FRUED GUYS MAYBE JUST ANOTHER SHIT STIRRING DISSING US EH....
November 19, 2007 at 03:28 PM
APOLIGIES FOR TYPING AND SPELLING NEW COMP NOT FOUND MY FEET YET...
November 19, 2007 at 03:30 PM
I tend to agree with Riley - Freud probably just couldn't keep up with the complex Irish mind, considered it a threat to his intelligence and gave up, claiming that they couldn't be helped, or they were crazy.
I too have Irish blood - not full, maybe 1/2 - and have also had trouble explaining things to "psychologists" because I'm trying to paint a bigger picture... not necessarily that they can't keep up, but that the thing is too big for them to solve or help me with. I think the Irish have such powerful defense systems because we have such enormous capability - for better or worse.
When I first heard Freud's quote in The Departed I didn't take offense to it, I felt proud. It seemed to explain something, like I know why my mind is so complex. But I didn't have your typical Irish upbringing - I also have English , Italian & some French blood, but have always related the most to the Irish. It just feels right.
November 23, 2007 at 11:53 PM
What you seem to be overlooking is the fact that this is indeed a compliment. We, the Irish are one step ahead, and will always be that way. Erin Go Braugh & Slainte!
November 24, 2007 at 11:21 AM
Say a lie enough and people believe it as hitler learned as the secondary debate become oedipus, penisenvy, cocaine and jew anti-semitism. Nowhere in freuds writings is anything like this.Just say it enough in intellectual heavyweight journals like "The departed" and let the secondary debate begin. Like why Poland invaded Germany.
joseph Goebbels |
November 25, 2007 at 10:07 AM
All you paddys back home, quit acting all superior, you're proving Freud too easily. The question, again, is what did he mean?
Being that he met mostly with the disturbed, and being that paranoid schizophrenia is rampant in the irish, (i've heard as high as 10%, but would be impressed if it is 1%). From my experience it is common in this population, and no pschologist (or psychoanalyst) can cure this problem. Therefore, i suggest that this is the problem he saw, and, incidentally, paranoid schizoids are pretty darn complex. Y'all have a nice day.
November 25, 2007 at 05:44 PM
Are you serious? Is it possible that the Irish have a higher degree of this than any other nationality? I would be interested in hearing more about 'your experience'.
Freud's comments are a shortcoming on his part rather than any reflection on the people of the Island.
December 02, 2007 at 10:00 PM
''How far can the body be Irish if the body has not been bred in Ireland''
Now as far as I believe some of this, i do feel people are hopping on the celtic tiger bandwagon somewhat, It's a placebo affect, his theory, if you are even a bit Irish you will begin to think it subconciously
December 15, 2007 at 01:48 PM
See, the first thought of any true Irish person reading this - I've no idea how I got here either - it's very confusing but then it is New Year's Eve - would be - are yis all gone mad? we don't do psycho anything very well - get outta me head, there's only room for me in here. Happy 2008 y'all.
December 31, 2007 at 05:33 AM
for fecks sake stop calling yourself irish when yournot, im presuming freud was refering to the actual irish born and bred so dont start this irish blood shit. Anyway freud was probably just pointing out that the irish were tight lipped when it came to emotions, still true to this day so meh
January 27, 2008 at 05:21 PM
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