chapter  28
7 Pages

LEARNING FROM FREUD

ByAdam Phillips

In a talk given in 1950 to psychology and social-work students entitled, ‘Yes, but how do we know it’s true?’, the British psychoanalyst D.W.Winnicott suggested that there were two stages people always go through when they are taught psychology. ‘In the first stage’, he writes,

they learn what is being taught about psychology just as they learn other things. In the second stage they begin to wonder-yes, but is it true, is it real, how do we know? In the second stage the psychological teaching begins to separate out from the other as something that just can’t be learnt. It has to be felt as real, or else it is irritating, or even maddening.1