John A. Friedman strives to excavate Freud's early psychological insights from the mounds of what he calls misguided criticism that has buried them, and, by his own thorough and careful reading, to expose the true origins of self and identity. He argues against "new age" claims that reality is constructed in the here-and-now treatment setting, contending that das Ich (Freud's I-ness) is an achievement rooted in the historical-instinctual situation into which we are born. Further, Dr. Friedman asserts that the Todestrieb or death instinct (beyond the pleasure principle) is the locus of an authentic human psychology; accordingly, he takes the position that Todestrieb does not herald end-of-the-world pessimism. In his view, the relation between fantasy and reality is similarly subject to misrepresentation by exponents of the psychoanalytic therapies. And so, he concludes, are the struggles of their patients.