THE PSYCHOANALYST’S AVERSION TO THE TASK OF PROOF by Austin Ratner
Publisher: International Psychoanalytic Books (2019)
What would Freud think of today’s world?
Austin Ratner’s The Psychoanalyst’s Aversion to Proof (IPBooks, February 1, 2019) provides a long overdue wakeup call to Freudians worldwide to leverage existing scientific proof to make the case for psychoanalysis. “After spending too many years in the shadows, psychoanalysis needs to reclaim its eminent position as a powerful modality for understanding and negotiating the human psyche,” says Ratner, who wrote the book in part as a tribute to his own personal success as a participant in psychoanalysis. An MD and award-winning novelist based in Brooklyn, New York for ten years, Ratner says he gained life-transforming benefits from therapy. “Freudians have undercut their appeal by becoming an insular community that’s failed to articulate the proven value of psychoanalysis—even though there’s abundant evidence that it really does work.” According to Ratner, a Freudian resurgence couldn’t be timelier. “It’s time to ask ourselves, ‘What would Freud think of today’s world?’ Our world is spinning out of control with impetuous decisions being made by unstable leaders who could foment untold destruction with the push of a button.”Without resolving the defense mechanisms and hidden fears that underlie aggressive behavior, there’s little hope for world peace, he explains.
AUSTIN RATNER is author of the novels In the Land of the Living and The Jump Artist, winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and the non-fiction book The Psychoanalyst’s Aversion to Proof. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Wall Street Journal and his short fiction has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Before turning his focus to writing he received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and he is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology.