In search of the lost future

The ‘classical’ view of trauma is that [i] it is based on experiences which cannot be assimilated, made sense of, by the individual; and [ii] originates in the (early) past of the individual.  Of course, such a traumatic experience need not occur in infancy or childhood; Freud himself recognised that some psychopathologies (the ‘actual neuroses’) […]

In search of lost time

The concept of Nachträglichkeit is probably one of the most misunderstood of a long list of Freud’s misunderstood concepts, not helped by Strachey’s mistranslation of the German word as ‘deferred action’.  At the same time I would argue that it is probably one of Freud’s most radical ideas, and perhaps should be added to Lacan’s […]

In search of the lost past

According to Zachary Schiffman, ‘the past’ as we understand it is an invention of the Renaissance.1  This may seem a somewhat surprising assertion, and it may also beg the question regarding its relevance to psychoanalysis, and especially to the work of the psychoanalytic clinic.  After all, isn’t psychoanalysis all about ‘the past’, about tracing the […]

Trauma without end……?

In my previous post1 I wrote about the importance of (and problems with) boundaries in relation to trauma – both on the individual and social levels.  I argued that without boundaries it becomes very difficult to define the scope of a traumatic experience.  It also becomes difficult, if not impossible, to circumscribe the traumatic event, […]

Historic abuse: the return of the repressed?

The last eighteen months or so has seen tsunami of allegations and court cases against the rich, famous and powerful in relation to alleged and actual sexual abuse. Much of this has involved children, so we are essentially dealing with a wave of paedophilia as well as inappropriate sexual behaviour, assault and rape against adults. […]