There is something recklessly optimistic about psychoanalysis.
I was reminded of this when driving my children to school the other morning I was listening to Carole King singing on 'The Living Room Tour'. Her voice seemed recklessly optimistic and I found myself thinking her music precedes the uprising of cybernetics where we began to think of ourselves as machines and when something goes wrong we need to change the functioning of the machine by administering a drug.
Psychoanalysis is optimistic because it believes that because we have the capacity to symbolise we are able to change – something that is not possible for the poor duckling who has not learned to swim by 27 days of age. It is this capacity to symbolise that makes psychological change possible and yet the thrust of much modern psychology ignores this, preferring rather to treat illness in quite concrete ways.