If you’d like to learn about the best psychoanalysis books that you can read in 2022, look no further. We’ve compiled some of the most interesting books on the subject, including a few classic ones but also more recent publications explaining the concept of psychoanalysis. Before we get to the list, here’s a brief summary for anyone who might not be familiar with what psychoanalysis is:
What is psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a theory and therapy that focus on the unconscious mind. The goal of psychoanalysis is to bring the unconscious into conscious awareness in order to better understand why we do the things we do, think the things we think, and feel the things we feel.
The theory of psychoanalysis was first developed by Sigmund Freud. He believed that our personalities are shaped by our early childhood experiences and that repressed memories and emotions can lead to psychological problems later in life.
Psychoanalysis is one of the most popular branches of psychology. It’s also one of the most controversial. The best way to understand what psychoanalysis is about and why there is so much debate about its legitimacy is by reading books about the field. In this article, Best Psych Books presents the ten best books on psychoanalysis that you can read in 2022. Some of these books present a supporting stand on psychoanalysis, while others provide a critical commentary on the subject. These should give you enough information to form an opinion on one of the most persevering fields of psychology.
Table of Contents
The Interpretation of Dreams
Author: Sigmund Freud
What it’s about: Perhaps the most popular book on psychoanalysis, The Interpretation of Dreams is written by Sigmund Freud, one of the pioneers of psychoanalysis. The book was first published in 1899 and quickly became one of Freud’s most influential works. In the book, Freud argues that dreams are a way for the unconscious mind to satisfy repressed desires. He also believes that dream analysis can be used to understand the workings of the human mind. Although some of Freud’s ideas have been discredited in recent years, The Interpretation of Dreams remains an important work in the history of psychology, and one of the most influential books on psychoanalysis.
What it’s about: Carl Jung was a student and protege of Sigmund Freud. However, theoretical disagreements between the two led to a rift that would allow Jung to develop his own take on psychoanalysis. In the book Man and His Symbols, Jung explores the idea that humans are not just rational beings, but also have a “collective unconscious” that includes symbols and archetypes that are shared across cultures. The book was published in 1968, shortly before Jung’s death, and remains one of his most influential works. It’s a book that anyone interested in psychoanalysis should definitely give a read.
What it’s about: Karen Horney was one of the most prominent and influential psychoanalysts not connected with Sigmund Freud. A neo-Freudian, Horney was critical of Freud’s theories and constructed her own psychoanalytic theories that focused on the female experience. Self-Analysis was just one of many books she wrote on psychoanalysis. In the book, Horney discusses the importance of self-analysis and offers readers a guide to performing their own self-analyses. She also addresses various topics related to psychoanalysis, such as the role of unconscious desires in shaping our behavior. Other topics covered in Self-Analysis include neuroses and psychoanalytic understanding.
What it’s about: Janet Malcolm, a staff writer for the New Yorker, wrote this book as an expose to the “reticent, reclusive world of psychoanalysis.” Through interviews with patients, therapists, and analysts, Malcolm explored the world of psychoanalysis and, in the process, also shed important insights on mental health treatment. While the book offers a critical look at psychoanalysis, it also acknowledges the ways in which the field has evolved and changed over time. As a result, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession is both an enlightening and necessary read for anyone interested in understanding this complex field of study
Freud and Beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought
Author: Stephen A. Mitchell
What it’s about: Stephen A. Mitchell’s Freud and Beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought is a history of psychoanalysis from the early days of Freud’s work to the present day. The book chronicles the major figures and ideas in psychoanalysis, and examines the ways in which psychoanalysis has evolved over time. Mitchell, who is himself a psychoanalyst, argues that, despite its many challenges, psychoanalysis remains a vital force in our understanding of the human psyche. Freud and Beyond is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of psychoanalysis or in the current state of psychoanalytic thought.
What it’s about: Through the lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis, Patricia Gherovici provides fresh insights on sex and gender identity. She draws from her experience as a therapist and psychoanalyst to provide her perspective on how psychoanalytic thought can be used to explain the transgender experience. “Transgender Psychoanalysis features explications of Lacanian psychoanalysis along with considerations on sex and gender in the form of clinical vignettes from Patricia Gherovici’s practice as a psychoanalyst.”
What it’s about: A psychotherapist, Adam Phillips has spent a significant part of his career making the work of Sigmund Freud more available to the public. In this book, Phillips provides a comprehensive review of psychoanalytic theories.
What it’s about: In this psychoanalysis book, therapist Steven Kuchuck offers his expert insight on core theories as well as newer trends in relational psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. “This book defines postmodern relational concepts, and offers a clear, thoughtfully curated examination of relationality and its impact on psychoanalytic technique for both experienced clinicians and those newer to the field.”
What it’s about:Misogyny in Psychoanalysis is a book on psychoanalysis released in 2022 that exposes a major problem in psychoanalytic practice: institutionalized misogyny. According to Chamberlain, herself a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, “misogyny hides in plain sight” in psychoanalysis. Misogyny in Psychoanalysis isn’t just a peek into the field’s history with sexism, but it also reflects on the author’s personal journey as a psychoanalyst. “Misogyny in Psychoanalysis highlights what’s at risk for the practice of psychoanalysis / psychotherapy and, most importantly, for those seeking help when institutionalised misogyny goes by unchallenged.”
Psychoanalysis of Mythology: Freudian Theories on Myth and Religion Examined
Author: Stefan Stenudd
What it’s about: In Psychoanalysis of Mythology, historian Stefan Stenudd explores the world of mythology from the perspective of Freud’s ideas. Noting that Freud and his students paid close attention to myths and religions in their development of psychoanalytic theories, Stenudd delves into a critical exploration of these ideas to understand myths — and in the process, psychoanalysis — better. A newly published book (it was released in 2022), Psychoanalysis of Mythology offers a fresh and novel perspective on a century-old practice.
There are plenty of excellent books on psychoanalysis, and it would be impossible to include them all in this list. For those who are just getting into learning more about the subject, the suggestions here should be more than enough to provide a general picture of what psychoanalysis truly is.