‘Ontological Psychoanalysis or What do you want to be when you grow up?’ by Thomas Ogden (2019)

In his 2019 paper, 'Ontological Psychoanalysis or "What do you want to be when you grow up?"', Thomas Ogden describes two dimensions of psychoanalysis: epistemological psychoanalysis and ontological analysis. He is careful to point out that these dimensions frequently overlap, and neither ever exists in pure form, but that they do nevertheless involve quite different … Continue reading ‘Ontological Psychoanalysis or What do you want to be when you grow up?’ by Thomas Ogden (2019)

Listening to Distress

In his paper ‘Managing distress over time in psychotherapy: guiding the client in and through intense emotional work,’ Peter Muntigl (2020) explores how difficult it can be to respond well to clients’ disclosures of distress in therapy, but he focuses on the distress as experienced by the client, rather than what reactions this might provoke … Continue reading Listening to Distress

Schopenhauer’s Porcupines – by Deborah Anna Luepnitz

For anyone wanting to understand how psychoanalytic psychotherapy works from within the consulting room, this book is brilliant. Whilst telling the intimate and detailed stories of work with her patients (who have all consented to her doing so, of course), Dr Luepnitz also draws on and elucidates complex psychoanalytic concepts from Winnicott, Freud, and Lacan, … Continue reading Schopenhauer’s Porcupines – by Deborah Anna Luepnitz

Book Review: ‘The Adolescent Psyche’ by Richard Frankel

This book is filled with wisdom, and I think it would be helpful for any mental health professional working with adolescents (regardless of their preferred brand of therapeutic approach) so I’ll attempt to summarise its main points: The Freudian psychoanalysts were wrong to treat adolescence as primarily a return to infantile id drives/impulses (only with … Continue reading Book Review: ‘The Adolescent Psyche’ by Richard Frankel

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)

‘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?

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

Recovery in ‘Will and Testament’ by Vigdis Hjorth

‘I expected to become psychotic, but I didn’t, so somewhat surprised I got up, looked around, and then I left, what else could I do? It was a clear and sparkling August day, I hadn’t noticed that until now. The air was warm, I hadn’t noticed that before. I walked down Bogstadveien, what else could … Continue reading Recovery in ‘Will and Testament’ by Vigdis Hjorth