The Question of Lay Analysis

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The Question of Lay Analysis
The Question of Lay Analysis, German edition.jpg
The German edition
AuthorSigmund Freud
Original titleDie Frage der Laienanalyse

The Question of Lay Analysis (German: Die Frage der Laienanalyse) is a 1926 book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, advocating the right of non-doctors, or 'lay' people, to be psychoanalysts. It was written in response to Theodore Reik's being prosecuted for being a non-medical, or lay, analyst in Austria.

It is in this book that Freud compares the sexual life of adult women to a "dark continent":

We know less about the sexual life of little girls than of boys. But we need not feel ashamed of this distinction; after all, the sexual life of adult females is a dark continent [original in English][1][2] for psychology.[3]


  1. ^ Freud, Sigmund (2002). Wild Analysis. Translated by Alan Bance with an Introduction by Adam Phillips. City of Westminster, London: Penguin UK. ISBN 0-14193754-8. ISBN 978-0-141-93754-0. Quote.
  2. ^ (in German) See occurrences on Google Books.
  3. ^ Kristeva, Julia (2005). "Dark Continent (p. 365)". In de Mijolla, Alain. International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Thompson Gale's Macmillan Reference USA division. ISBN 0-02865927-9. ISBN 978-0-028-65924-4.

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