Book Review – ‘Madness and Modernism’ by Louis Sass (2017 Ed.)

This ground-breaking work revises traditional understandings of schizophrenia as ‘a form of encroaching dementia, regression, or dominance by instinct and the irrational’ and instead views it as ‘involving unusual forms of self-consciousness together with associated alienation and withdrawal – not only from the surrounding world and other human beings, but also from one’s own thoughts, … Continue reading Book Review – ‘Madness and Modernism’ by Louis Sass (2017 Ed.)

Quotes from Freud (Standard Edition, Complete Works, Vol. XXI)

The Future of an Illusion (1927) ‘There are two widespread human characteristics which are responsible for the fact that the regulations of civilization can only be maintained by a certain degree of coercion – namely, that men are not spontaneously fond of work and that arguments are of no avail against their passions.’ (8) I … Continue reading Quotes from Freud (Standard Edition, Complete Works, Vol. XXI)

Mysterious Pain

‘Just try – in a real case – to doubt someone else’s fear or pain!’(303. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations) Recently I’ve been bothered by a few mysterious and troublesome physical health problems, which has meant lots of doctor’s calls and appointments, but with little clarification. Luckily, my problem is minor, and its main annoyance is … Continue reading Mysterious Pain

‘Epistemic Injustice’ in Therapy?

Most of the time I spend scrolling through Twitter is probably time I won't ever get back, but the other day I 'overheard' an interesting conversation between two academics on what one said was psychological therapy's primary aim: constructing a sense of dignity, and the other academic voicing the opinion that in fact, therapy often … Continue reading ‘Epistemic Injustice’ in Therapy?

Louis Sass on Wittgenstein and Freud

[This blog captures my initial thoughts while reading Louis Sass's chapter in Wittgenstein, Theory and the Arts (eds. R. Allen & M. Turvey), titled: 'Wittgenstein, Freud, and the Nature of Psychoanalytic Explanation'. The bracketed page numbers are from that book.] Louis Sass begins by acknowledging the complex relationship Wittgenstein seemed to have with Freud and … Continue reading Louis Sass on Wittgenstein and Freud

Michael Polanyi on the Arts

I have recently become interested in how the scientist-turned-philosopher Michael Polanyi’s understanding of the arts can help us theorize how creating or appreciating the arts has a role to play in clinical psychology, in particular psychoanalytic or psychodynamic approaches. In his 1958 book Personal Knowledge, as he leads up to a discussion of ‘indwelling’, Polanyi … Continue reading Michael Polanyi on the Arts

A Common Criticism of CBT

Some critics of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) have focussed their attack on its underlying theoretical assumption that our 'beliefs' cause mental distress. That's a pretty easy target, though, once you look at the correlations between factors like poverty, abuse, systemic oppression; and mental distress - in those cases, would you really call their thinking 'faulty' … Continue reading A Common Criticism of CBT

Coaches or Clinicians?

I've recently started training to become a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner in an IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) service, and what that means is that I will soon be able to deliver Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to 'clients' with mild to moderate common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. The training is … Continue reading Coaches or Clinicians?

Book Review: ‘By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept’ by Elizabeth smart

During times of crises, one might think that we would be reminded of the triviality of our small, personal problems, but I think that one of the many things that the current Covid-19 pandemic has taught us is that our human responses aren't always so rational. Over the last two weeks, as the severity of … Continue reading Book Review: ‘By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept’ by Elizabeth smart