‘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 […]

The riddle of transference

Transference is one of the cornerstones of psychoanalysis, and yet at the same time it always seems to present itself as something of a puzzle, a riddle.1  In the world of ‘pop-psychology’ (and, for that matter, pop-psychoanalysis and psychotherapy) transference is often viewed as the patient/client ‘mistaking’ their therapist or another person in a position […]

The Real of everyday life

It’s often tempting to think of the Real as something mysterious and esoteric; something that is transcendental or even, in some way, supernatural or occult.  However, I think this is to completely misrecognise the Real.  Or rather, although it’s actually very easy to misrecognise the Real, this is not because it’s hidden away in some […]

Why psychosis?

There is a long and somewhat unfortunate tradition within psychoanalysis that appears to ‘downgrade’ psychosis.  In other words, psychosis is seen as something of an aberration in relation to the ‘norm’ of neurosis.   This is not to say that psychoanalysts don’t work with psychotics – far from it- but one often gets the impression when […]

Age of jouissance; age of madness

Do we now live in an age of jouissance, an age of enjoyment?  Certainly there appears to a compulsion to enjoy and, linked to this, the drive towards ‘happiness’ and the desire for the ‘good life’.  This can also be linked to the idea of trying to measure happiness,  along with the growth of the […]

Can organisations make people ill?

In my previous post1 I argued that rather than talk about corporate or organisational pathology it might make more sense to speak of corporate pathologisation or the pathological effects of corporate life.  Otherwise we end up treating the organisation itself as the pathological subject, which creates all kinds of conceptual and practical difficulties. However, this […]

Corporate pathology revisited

A while ago I wrote a number of posts relating to what I described as ‘corporate pathology’, and linking this closely with the crisis in the financial industry.  However, as I argued in at least one of these posts1, the concept of a ‘pathological’ corporation or organisation is not without its problems – both conceptually […]

Bipolar and psychosis

Darian Leader has recently written a book on bipolar1, which is the new name for an old form of psychosis, namely manic-depressive insanity (to use the term adopted by Emil Kraepelin). Leader’s central argument is that manic depression (bipolar) is an attempt to avoid contradiction, because the individual is unable to bear conflicting ideas, e.g. […]