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 […]

‘Father, don’t you see I’m burning?’

One of the lesser known things about the Real, and its manifestation through trauma, is its appearance in dreams. Of course, Freud himself did not have a concept of the Real, and neither did he have the concepts of Symbolic and Imaginary. Thus it was for Lacan to formalise what was already implicit but not […]

Psychotherapy and the NHS: time for a rethink?

In the early 2000s I spent three years working as an honorary psychoanalytic psychotherapist in an NHS mental health trust as part of my analytic training. Back then, this was the time-honoured route to becoming a psychotherapist. What was particularly interesting about this experience was that I saw my first patient for three years and […]