Psychoanalytic conceptions of language  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Psychoanalytic conceptions of language refers to the intersection of psychoanalytic theory with linguistics and psycholinguistics. Language has been an integral component of the psychoanalytic framework since its inception, as evidenced by the fact that Anna O. (pseud. for Bertha Pappenheim), whose treatment via the cathartic method influenced the later development of psychoanalytic therapy, referred to her method of treatment as the "talking cure" (Freud & Breuer, 1895; de Mijolla, 2005).

Language is relevant to psychoanalysis in two key respects. First, it is important with respect to the therapeutic process, serving as the principal means by which unconscious mental processes are given expression through the verbal exchange between analyst and patient (e.g., free association, dream analysis, transference-countertransference dynamics). Secondly, psychoanalytic theory is linked in many ways to linguistic phenomena, such as parapraxes and the telling of jokes. According to Freud (1915, 1923), the essential difference between modes of thought characterized by primary (irrational, governed by the id) as opposed to secondary (logical, governed by the ego and external reality) thought processes is one of preverbal vs. verbal ways of conceptualizing the world.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Psychoanalytic conceptions of language" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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