Freud reception in America, and his influence on popular culture. : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread

Hello, I'm doing a research paper for Dr. Fancher's "Psychoanalytic Psychology" class. I'd like to focus on Freud's reception in America, and consequently, his influence on popular culture; more precisely, on film. So far I'm having difficulty finding an abundance of material and sources. Any possible suggestions of where to look would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure there is info out there, I just have not found it yet.

Thank-you for your time.

-- David Mesiano (, February 10, 2002


One place to start is with Glen O. Gabbard's The psychoanalyst at the movies in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. 1997 Jun Vol 78 (3) 429-434. Gabbard is a psycholanalyst at the Menninger Foundation, and a gifted writer and literature reviewer. The abstract reads as follows:

Discusses aspects of psychoanalysis in film and the inauguration of film reviews as a new feature that will appear regularly in The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. Included in the discussion is the explication of underlying cultural mythology, the application of Freud's dreamwork to film, and the analysis of a character in the narrative. The author states that audiences do not attend films merely to be entertained, but to encounter long-forgotten but still powerful anxieties that stem from universal developmental experiences. By confronting them at a distance in a darkened cinema, they have the opportunity to master those anxieties vicariously and leave enriched and relieved. The author concludes that, as with all forms of art, when we study film, we study ourselves. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)

The references will lead you to more related works. Gabbard also has a book PSYCHOANALYSIS AND FILM (New York: Karnac, 2001)

-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (, February 11, 2002.

P. S. If you can find the little journal, The Family Therapy Networker, it has a wonderful regular feature on film by Frank Pittman, a psychiatrist specializing in family therapy. Pittman won't focus directly on Freud and psychoanalysis, but his reviews are astute, and if psychoanalytic influence is there, Pittman will spot it.

-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (, February 11, 2002.

David - one of the best examples of Freud's influence on US popular culture, is Hitchcock's 1945 film "Spellbound" - a fascinating study of unconscious processes, the guilt complex, repression, etc.

It's film-noir starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. I believe that Amazon carries it, and that it might inspire you to write an exceptionally fine paper :-)

-- visualize me (, February 11, 2002.

David - Also try:

The celluloid couch : an annotated international filmography of the mental health professional in the movies and television, from the beginning to 1990 / Leslie Y. Rabkin.


The rise and crisis of psychoanalysis in United States : Freud and the Americans, 1917-1985 / Nathan G. Hale.

-- Alexandra Rutherford (, February 11, 2002.

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