With its origins in the wacky genius that Freud was, psychoanalysis is one of the most important contributions of psychology to modern thought. Emphasizing the roles of unconscious motives and desires, psychoanalysis as a theory has made tremendous impact on all sciences and arts. Here are 9 best books about psychoanalysis to dive into, to understand more about it.
9 Best Books About Psychoanalysis You Should Read:
- The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
- Every Day Gets Closer: A Twice Told Therapy by Irvin Yalom
- Freud by Jonathan Lear
- Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arrendt
- The Life Cycle Completed by Erik Erikson
- Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung
- The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
- Eros and Civilization by Herbert Marcuse
- The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis by Jacques Lacan
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
Dreams, in the Freudian ideology, represent two meanings. The first is the surface meaning, which takes the form of manifest imagery in the actual dream. And the second is the latet meaning, which is the metaphorical in depth meaning of the dream, depending upon our unconscious desires and drives. In this book, Freud takes this theory a step further, even introducing the famous Oedipal complex.
Every Day Gets Closer: A Twice Told Therapy by Irvin Yalom
In this nonfiction that reads like fiction, Yalom compiles a summary of his sessions. These are first narrated by him and then by is patient. So we visit the same hour from the perspective of the psychoanalyst and the patient, giving us a holistic view of the practical way in which psychoanalysis actually works.
Freud by Jonathan Lear
This is a great introduction to and summarization of major Freudian concepts. These range from the unconscious, to latent drives dreams, mental functions, drives versus instincts, structure of the personality transference and more. It also takes a more contemporary approach to these nineteenth century concepts, making it all the more relevant.
Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arrendt
This ccount of the trial of the Nazi leader Eichmann has distinctive psychoanalytical elements to it. Arendt herself comes from the field, and so her work is marked by the psychoanalytic bias. In short, this is a practical examination of psychoanalysis in the field of politics and propaganda. It’s definitely a book that’s not worth missing.
The Life Cycle Completed by Erik Erikson
Erikson was one of the biggest post-Freudian propounders of psychoanalysis, and the creator of the psychosocial theory of development. This book is the final installation of the theory, focusing on geriatric crises and their resolution. A work of psychoanalysis that diverges significantly from Freud but retains his essence, this is a must read.
Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung
Jung extended the idea of psychoanalysis from Freud’s personal unconscious to the world’s collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is the deeper part of unconscious, which all humans inherit by virtue of their membership to the race. The collective consciousness is made of archetypes, which are recurrent motifs present throughout life within and without. This book explains these concepts and discusses major archetypes.
The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
This book attaches psychoanalytic meaning to the archetypes present all the world through mythology. It analyses world mythology through the lens of psychology, examining its relevance to the modern day and age. A seminal work in the field of applications of psychoanalysis, this is a must read for students of psychology, mythology and literature.
Eros and Civilization by Herbert Marcuse
Linking philosophy, economics and psychology in a landmark postwar analysis Marcuse takes a Marxist view of eros, or Freud’s libidinal drive, and neurotic productivity in a repressive capitalistic society. This is thus an important application of the Freudian theory which is conceptual, to a practical worldly setting.
The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis by Jacques Lacan
Basing his theory on the four pillars of psychoanalysis – the unconscious, the drive, the transference and repetition, Lacan takes a radical look at traditional psychoanalysis. In this book, he also links psychoanalysis with linguistics, laying the foundation for a psycholinguistic theory that shook the world.