Even the people who know quite literally nothing about psychology know about Sigmund Freud- the cigar smoking, cocaine advocating, father of Psychoanalysis.
The Id, ego, and superego
o Instinctual elements
o Demands pleasure and satisfaction
o Deals with the demands of the Id
o The conscience
Problem with psychoanalysis:
This is perhaps the greatest principle of scientific thinking that psychoanalysis lacks. In providing "evidence" for Freud's theories he utilized self-analysis and case studies. And as the wise textbook (Scott Lilienfeld, 2nd ed. Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding.) states, "the plural of anecdote isn't fact". But these case studies are much more legitimate than his self-analysis which provides no falsifiability. How can a third party come in and attempt to disprove a self-analysis?
No Freud, actually you weren't in love with your mother.
Karl Popper states that the claims of psychoanalysis are not testable and that alone should be reason enough for it to be deemed a pseudo science
Ruling out rival hypotheses
There isn't much evidence of Freud doing this. Yes, the development of psychoanalysis is partly due to him ruling out the effective use of hypnosis. However he never really searched for other possible reasons why psychoanalysis was successful.
Since the time of Freud though, numerous studies have occurred. They conclude that psychoanalysis therapy's efficiency is due to the school rather than the theory of psychoanalysis itself (Psychotherapy: Theory, research, practice, training). While a French study in 2004 states that psychoanalysis therapy is "far less effective than other psychotherapies".
The main issue at hand though is, if psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience rather than a legitimate psychological theory, why is it taught in psychology classes as a theory? This fact in itself must speak to some positive aspects of psychoanalysis.
In my own experience, psychoanalysis was okay because of Freud's theories on catharsis. Though these were mostly developed by his daughter, these ideas and theories are more accepted in the world of psychology. However, they are also less well known in the general public. Freudian Slips, Oedipus Complex- things of this nature are practically legendary and yet are the most criticized aspects of Freud's work. Perhaps this is due to the negative attention. Bringing up the question, should so much energy be put into falsifying things? Because perhaps doing so will have the adverse affect.