Many years ago, when I was in final year of my undergraduate studies, I wrote a dissertation on humanistic psychotherapy, within which I strongly criticised its concept of the ‘self’ or ‘ego’ and, linked to this, the notion of ‘psychosalvation’.  By this I mean the idea that therapy can, in some way, provide the basis […]

A culture of madness?

In the 1960s and into the 1970s the psychotic individual increasingly became positioned both as ‘victim’ and ‘anti-hero’.  Psychiatrists such as Ronald Laing and his colleagues argued that schizophrenia was caused by dysfunctional (if not outright pathological) family relationships, in which the schizophrenic subject found themselves in an impossible, no-win situation.  And although the proponents […]

That royal ‘Nazi’ salute

Perhaps what’s most fascinating about the furore surrounding the Sun’s acquisition of film footage1 from the early 1930s which appears to show the future queen Elizabeth, her sister Margaret, their mother, and their uncle Edward giving Nazi salutes is not so much the ‘revelation’ that Edward was an admirer of Hitler, but that it has […]

Digimodernism, social media and the (apparently) Real

Alan Kirby’s book, Digimodernism, is interesting for a number of reasons1, not least that it’s published in paper format.  I say this because, like so many publications related to social media, there seems to something rather ironic in that the author still relies on the ‘traditional’ hardcopy format to put across his arguments, even though […]

…..and the pursuit of Happiness

If you were a marketing executive you might seriously struggle to sell psychoanalysis.1 And one reason for this difficulty might be that psychoanalysis has never promised to make anyone happy.  At best, to paraphrase Freud, it can only hope to convert neurotic suffering into everyday misery.2  If anything psychoanalysis is likely to make one less […]