ft. Jamieson Webster
Has anyone ever called you ‘anal’, or maybe suggested you have ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’ issues? Perhaps you’ve been the one to dish out these titles.
For all these terms, we have Sigmund Freud to thank. Freud is widely regarded as the founder of psychoanalysis, a field of theory and therapy that grapples with the unconscious mind. In modern times, Freud is also often regarded as a woman-hating cokehead.
His work has been the subject of decades of criticism and but also absolute praise. Irrespective of how you feel about Freud, the pervasive nature of his thinking is undeniable. Many of his thoughts still underpin Western ideas of sexuality.
Over the years, countless interpretations, including entire sub-branches of psychology, have emerged in response to his work. His intellectual legacy is astonishing; traversing sexuality, dreams, development, and beyond. Poet W H Auden describes Freud as providing "a whole climate of opinion, under which we conduct our different lives." Despite this, popular understanding of what Freud actually wrote and said is rare.
Today’s guest, Jamieson Webster, is someone who has spent significant time reading, contemplating, and responding to Freud’s work. Jamieson is a psychoanalyst and author based in New York. She has worked as an analyst in SoHo for many years, taught the subject at The New School in New York, and recently wrote Disorganisation and Sex, which explores the endlessly disorienting nature of sexuality.
Jamieson views psychoanalysis through a philosophical lens, grounding many of Freud’s seemingly abstract ideas. Agreeing with Freud, Jamieson demonstrates that since psychoanalysis concerns things that make us uncomfortable, it will always face resistance.
In this broad conversation, Jamieson and Caroline discuss many of Freud’s central concepts, like the Death Drive, the Oedipus complex, Phallocentrism, and Freud’s often misrepresented views on gender. They also discuss what a psychoanalyst is, and what role they play in helping people understand sexuality.