An Archaeologist of the Mind

Freud Museum London2015

Freud Museum London

Freud Museum London

Historian of Science John Forrester and psychoanalyst Astrid Gessert discuss Freud's archaeological metaphor.

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  • Title: An Archaeologist of the Mind
  • Creator: Freud Museum London
  • Date Created: 2015
  • Transcript: Freud once said that he had more archaeology books than psychology books. His view was that the mind was structured by layers, like in archaeological digs, and when he was excavating his patients’ minds he was just like an archaeologist digging down and discovering fragments from a long-lost time. Now the analyst doesn’t work with stones – the fragments he works with are bits of memories, fantasies, infantile wishes, and he pieces those together with the analysand to construct the early history of the analysand’s life that has become buried but that still is a foundation of his adult life and particularly of any symptoms he might have developed.


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