Freud Was a Fraud: A Triumph of Pseudoscience

Psychiatry is arguably the least science-based of all the medical specialties, and Freudian psychoanalysis is arguably the least science-based psychotherapy. Freud’s theories have been widely criticized as unscientific, and treatment of mental disorders has increasingly turned to psychotropic medications and effective therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Freud’s impact on 20th century thought is undeniable, but he got almost everything wrong. He was not only not scientific; he was a liar and a fraud. A new book, Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews,   may put the final nail in his coffin.

Crews had access to material not available to previous biographers. The extensive early correspondence between Freud and his fiancée, Martha Bernays, has only recently been released, and it is very revealing of Freud’s character flaws, his sexist attitudes, and his regular use of cocaine.

Freud was trained as a scientist, but he went astray, following


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