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Pinky Show interview: Fear, Aggression, & Empire

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I was recently interviewed on the Pinky Show about the contributions of psychoanalysis to understanding our American culture and empire in the age of the War on Terror.

Here is the YouTube version: [[Pinky1]]

Those preferring can read the transcrip t [reproduced with permission of the Pinky Show]:

Transcript: Fear, Aggression, & Empire

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Note: The following is a verbatim transcript of the program's spoken dialogue.

[ phone ringing ]

Soldz: Hi.

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Pinky: Hi, is this Dr. Stephen Soldz?

Soldz: Yes it is.

Pinky: Hi, this is Pinky... from the desert.

Soldz: Hi, how you doing?

Pinky: Um, fine thank you. Dr. Soldz, may I ask you some questions about psychoanalysis and fear and... empire building and stuff?

Soldz: Sure.

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Pinky: Okay... Um, maybe first can you please tell me about psychoanalysis - like, what's it for? And what is the objective of therapy?

Soldz: Well, psychoanalysis is based on the assumption that in addition to the things we're aware of that there's a lot of mental life that we're unaware of, you know, the concept of 'unconscious'. In particular, wishes and motives that we're unaware of because they conflict with other aspects of life - with reality, with the way we think we should be, and that these unconscious wishes and motives frequently get in the way of us having a enjoyable, meaningful life. So, the essence of analysis is to get people to talk and to try and find out why people are avoiding certain areas. Technically we call it resistance, but what it is that people are avoiding and why they are avoiding it, and to try and reduce this resistance to knowing yourself. So that people then develop greater flexibility and can live their life with less compulsion and a wider range of thoughts and feelings guiding them. So that is sort of the essence of what the process is about.

Pinky: When people construct these kinds of - can I call them self-narratives? - if these narratives differ from outward 'reality' too much, is this merely annoying or can this be dangerous?

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Stephen Soldz is psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He is co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and is President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. He was a psychological consultant on two of (more...)

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