and now for these therapists: plato, st. augustine, darwin, freud

i wrote this some years ago, trying to elucidate how some of the fathers and grandfathers of psychology would look at contemporary problems:

after a stormy, decade long marriage, JU and his wife separated after she found out that he had sexually abused their two sons. JU explained he was “sexually educating them”. there was also a daughter. JU is extremely unhappy that he cannot see his children; they do not want to have much to do with him, not even the daughter who he used to be very close to. he blames it all on his vengeful wife who he said only brought up the abuse so that she would get an easy divorce.

he cannot comprehend that his wife and children remember him as a tyrannical, abusive and erratic man rather than the loving, free-thinking, sexually liberated and generous person that he sees himself as. JU does not believe in god. there are indications that JU might have been sexually abused as a child.


plato might concentrate on JU’s unhappiness, speculating that it stems from JU’s lack of reasoning and being a slave to his passions. if JU would have thought about his acts before he committed them, he would have realized that the satisfaction of his desires were incompatible with the laws of the society he lives in and would have abstained from them.

another source of JU’s unhappiness, the discrepancy between how JU sees himself and how others see themselves, could stem from the lack of ability of JU’s untrained mind to compare the two viewpoints and JUdge reasonably which one is true.

st. augustine

what makes life difficult for JU is that he does not believe in god and does not live god’s way. the ultimate cause of JU’s deviance is probably original sin; however, this could have been remedied by devotion to god.

nevertheless, augustine is keenly aware how easily we fall prey to our sinful inclinations; he knows especially of the dangers of the lust for freedom as it is expressed in JU’s penchant for sexual liberty and free thinking.


JU’s behaviour could be an adaption, even though to us it may look both other and self destructive. events may have occurred in JU’s life that made it seem to him that the only way he can survive – at least psychologically – is by being an abusive, tyrannical and eccentric father and husband. since this behaviour seemed correct to him at the time, it is now again more adaptive to JUstify it and to put the blame for any problems on his wife’s shoulder.


freud would concentrate on JU’s sexual “perversion”. a pre-seduction fantasy account would speculate that in sexually abusing his two sons, JU JUst acted out the sexual abuse perpetrated on him. part of an aetiology according to a post-seduction could be as follows: insecure in his gender role, by engaging in sexual activities with his sons, JU attempted to reinforce his masculinity. this reinforcement was two-fold: via the sheer homosexual contact with them, and also by attempting to turn his sons into his sexual clones (through “education”).

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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