Comments on “Psychosocial Histories of Psychoanalysis,” by Belinda Mandelbaum and Stephen Frosh

Palabras clave

Psychosocial Histories; Psychoanalysis; Belinda Mandelbaum; Stephen Frosh


I should begin by explaining that my point of view is somewhat different from the authors ́. My tools of analysis are Weberian sociology and Bourdieu’s writings on the constitution of the professional and scientific fields, rather than psychosocial studies, with which I have little familiarity.

In their work, Frosh and Mandelbaum discuss how Brazilian psychoanalysis, in a process that could be interpreted as denial, coexisted with the military dictatorship and its whole repressive apparatus without expressing the slightest sign of criticism or opposition to the country’s social and political circumstances. It would even be fair to say that psychoanalysis flourished at the height of the dictatorship and was spread as a therapy and world view through the media and the discourse of a captivated intelligentsia.