The Death or Future of Psychoanalysis?: Assessing the Position of Psychoanalysis within Contemporary Feminist Philosophy
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The impact of psychoanalytic theory within the fields of women’s studies and feminist theory has been extensive. Perhaps we can be so bold to claim that the volume of this impact is larger than most feminists and (feminist) scholars would assume. Psychoanalysis has gone through fields of controversy, experiencing forceful rejection as well as loving embraces. The volume of psychoanalytic interpretation within contemporary feminist writing is not as rich as, for example, the seventies and eighties of last century’s theories. Psychoanalysis, however, is still used as an interpretive tool within feminist academic writing, especially in the field of feminist philosophy. Current developments show a decline in appreciation for psychoanalytic theory and practice, including therapy work with feminist psychoanalytic approaches. This development is a big concern to those who have been active in this field and have worked as psychotherapist creative therapist or as (feminist) social workers since the eighties of last century. The integration of feminist approaches and women friendly therapeutic theories was already low, even in its flourishing years in the 80s. This integration of feminist approaches and development in diversity is now, unfortunately in danger. Some writers even claim that the end of psychotherapy is nearing, which means that feminist approaches to psychoanalytic practice and knowledge will also loose their ground. In this thesis I use the approaches of feminist theorists and philosophers Rosi Braidotti and Luce Irigaray. Their approaches towards Western philosophy and the (subject) enlights the value of psychoanalysis within feminist theory. I will use their work to analyse their focus within their use of psychoanalytic theory within feminist philosophy to ground my belief in psychoanalysis as a valuable methodology within feminist theory. Philosophy and psychoanalysis have always intersected and also within feminist theory. To my opinion this corner of feminist theory, feminist philosophy and especially European feminist philosophy, still extensively uses psychoanalytic interpretations in their discourses. It is therefore that I have chosen to concentrate my eye on this corner within feminist theory, for, to my opinion, this branch of theory has had an interesting development of describing the female subject, heavily relying on psychoanalytic theory.