Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Existential Pioneers. 17. Karl Jaspers. General Psychopathology, 100 years on. Inner Circle Seminar 198 (1 December 2013)


Karl Jaspers
Existential Pioneers

17. Karl Jaspers
(1883–1969)
General Psychopathology (1913)
A centenary reappraisal

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 198
Sunday 1 December 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Karl Jaspers (23 February 1883 – 26 February 1969), psychiatrist and existential philosopher, published his General Psychopathology 100 years ago. R. D. Laing wrote scornfully, in a devastating review 50 years ago, that many regarded it as ‘the golden touch on psychiatry of the finger of a master European thinker’. Many still do today. Laing himself must have valued Jaspers at one time, because he planned to study individually with him in Heidelberg. But this never happened. And Laing insisted, in his review, that there is ‘a radical lack of discrimination on the highest level if Jaspers is classed among the great thinkers of recent European history. As a philosopher, Jaspers has produced an amalgam of the work of others … in a way that Sartre has called “soft and underhand”. As a psychopathologist, I find Jaspers even less satisfactory than Sartre finds him as a philosopher.’

What was Laing's main criticism of Jaspers? Laing had written in The Divided Self that ‘the greatest psychopathologist has been Freud’, but he had also written in ‘Series and Nexus in the Family’ that the concept of ‘psychopathology’ is itself ‘corrupt’; how, then, could any ‘psychopathologist’ be, for Laing, ‘satisfactory’? But Laing explains: ‘When I read Jaspers’ pathographies of Van Gogh, Hölderlin, and Strindberg, I thought that here was a betrayal by a philosopher of the artist and poet. Instead of a compassionate understanding of the all-too-human risks involved in the exploration of reaches of reality that transcend those that a learned pedant will ever wish to know at first hand, Jaspers is no longer with them when they go too far. Later, I have come to the opinion that Jaspers was not even in a position to betray. To betray, one must have some understanding of what one is betraying.’

Was Jaspers psychiatry’s ‘master thinker’? Or was he, as Laing put it, a ‘learned pedant’ who simply did not understand, for example, how a dream can be a life-changing event, and whose ‘grasp of large tracts of the subject [of dreams] is not merely undistinguished, it is inadequate’? Was Jaspers, in Laing’s words, a ‘would-be Faust without Mephistopheles’? This seminar will try to reach a balanced assessment. You are invited to contribute to the discussion.

 
Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com 

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Existential Pioneers. 16. Jane Austen. Inner Circle Seminar 197 (17 November 2013)


Jane Austen
by her sister Cassandra
Existential Pioneers
16. Jane Austen
(16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817)
The existential genius of her novels 200 years on

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 197
Sunday 17 November 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) is the author of a small number of much loved novels. Two hundred years ago this year, for example, she published Pride and Prejudice (1813) and worked on and completed Mansfield Park (1814). In his book The Great Tradition (1948), the literary critic F. R. Leavis places her first among the first four ‘great English novelists’. However, Vladimir Nabokov, who prided himself on being a ‘good reader’ and ‘re-reader’, in his Lectures on Literature (1980) dismisses ‘her delicate patterns’, ‘her collection of eggshells in cotton wool’, as ‘a charming rearrangement of old-fashioned values’. But was Nabokov not missing something? Was not Miss Austen a great existential pioneer? Do not her subtle explorations of complex human relationships, in unsurpassed ordinary English, exemplify true existential thinking? Is the later, lumbering language of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century existential philosophers and psychotherapists really an advance? You are invited to bring your own examples from Jane Austen’s novels for discussion.

Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Frank Cioffi’s ‘Was Freud a Liar?’ Inner Circle Seminar 196 (20 October 2013)

Frank Cioffi
Frank Cioffi
‘Was Freud a Liar?’
(20 October 1973)
A re-reading on the 40th anniversary
of Cioffi’s seminal radio talk
on sexual abuse and Freud’s ‘seduction theory’

Towards existential seduction theory

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 196
Sunday 20 October 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Forty years ago today, on Saturday 20 October 1973, readers of Radio Times  would have seen the following announcement of a short talk on BBC Radio 3 at 7.05 p.m. followed by an interlude before the concert at 7.30 p.m.:
Was Freud a Liar?
‘Frank Cioffi, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Kent at Canterbury, examines Freud’s account of how he arrived at his theory of infantile seduction, and finds grounds for much disquiet. Did Freud deliberately distort the story, or did he merely forget certain parts of it? He [Cioffi] argues that whatever the answer, the scientific claims of psychoanalysis must be affected by it.’

This provocatively titled twenty-minute talk by Frank Cioffi (11 January 1928 – 1 January 2012) was published in The Listener on 7 February 1974. After some weeks, a critical letter from Dr James Hopkins was published, and subsequently Cioffi responded. Otherwise the talk seems to have received little attention at the time. But, despite its imperfections, it revealed contradictions in Freud’s explanation of why he first advocated then retracted what is usually called his seduction theory his dramatic claim that in every case of hysteria the patienthad been sexually abused in childhood. On the talk’s fortieth anniversary, we explore how reading it can help psychotherapists today non-seductively help clients to recall and revalue childhood seduction, mystification and abuse, whether sexual or existential; to distinguish memory and phantasy; and to free themselves from the paralysing influence of the past. Professor James Hopkins (as he now is) will himself participate in the seminar during the afternoon to debate and defend, almost forty years on, his critique of Cioffi's talk. 

We shall see that psychotherapists of all schools have been confused not only by the claims of Freud and the psychoanalytic establishment that his patients were phantasizing, but also by the claims of feminists and other writers who argue that the  seduction theory was essentially correct, and by the claims of those who argue that it was a question of Freuds inducing false memories in his  patients.

What all these writers miss is that Freud was claiming to have discovered the specific aetiology of the supposed mental illness, hysteria. This means a causative factor which he claimed was present in every case of hysteria. If a single hysteric  were to be proved (somehow) not to have been sexually abused as a child, then what we now call his seduction theory would have been not just a little bit wrong but totally wrong. Freud explicitly wanted to become as famous for discovering this supposed specific aetiology of a supposed mental illness as Robert Koch, the previous decade, had become for his discovery of what is still recognised today as the real specific aetiology of the real illness tuberculosis. This aspiration to universality, rather than to careful phenomenological evaluation of each case, corrupted not only Freud's own thinking but also the thinking of these late twentieth-century writers who proposed competing universalising claims.

Returning to the unique history of each individual client, in the spirit of Cioffi’s paper and Sartre’s existential psychoanalysis, then reveals sexual abuse and incestuous phantasy as merely two of the many ways in which the client may be mystified by ‘the past’. You are invited to join the discussion of the possibility of a general existential seduction theory which Anthony Stadlen proposed in the very first Inner Circle Seminar on 21 April 1996 (the centenary of Freud’s presentation of his so-called ‘seduction theory’ in Vienna on 21 April 1896).
 
‘The authority on Freud’s original “seduction” theory, its genesis and its ultimate fate, is surely Anthony Stadlen.’
John Kerr (1993) A Most Dangerous Method
 
Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com 

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com./

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Existential Pioneers. 15. Aaron Esterson: Unpublished Writings. Inner Circle Seminar 195 (29 September 2013)


Aaron Esterson
Existential Pioneers

15. Aaron Esterson
(1923–1999)
Unpublished Writings
A seminar for the 90th anniversary of his birth

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 195
Sunday 29 September 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Aaron Esterson (25 September 192315 April 1999) was one of the world’s greatest existential analysts. He reported his pioneering research interviews with families of ‘schizophrenic’ women in his books Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics (1964, with R. D. Laing) and The Leaves of Spring: A Study in the Dialectics of Madness (1970). Since nearly all readers bring to these books unexamined scientistic, medicalistic presuppositions, they almost invariably misread them as claiming that family interactions contribute to the ‘aetiology’ of the supposed ‘illness’, ‘schizophrenia’. Laing and Esterson’s explicit insistence that they disbelieve in ‘schizophrenia’ is ignored.

Today we shall read Estersons writings without such presumptions. We shall draw not only on his published books, but also on some of his remarkable unpublished writings. We shall read an unpublished case study of a family by Esterson, and see the 1972 BBC television film directed by Roger Graef on Esterson’s work with another family, The Space Between Words: FamilyThese will give some idea of the highly original work practised by Esterson (and a few colleagues whom he rigorously trained), amounting to a new profession, radically different from traditional, coercive psychiatry and the confused psychotherapy that is its handmaiden.

Aaron Esterson regarded his work as complementary to that of his friend and colleague Thomas Szasz. (But he thought his erstwhile colleagues R. D. Laing and David Cooper had frivolously betrayed, by romanticising, the serious work of making ‘schizophrenia’ socially intelligible and developing a new professional practice.) Esterson also made an important contribution to Anthony Stadlen’s historical research on the paradigm case studies of Freud and others, and on the psychological techniques by which the Nazis mystified their victims in the Holocaust. We shall discuss all this in the seminar, and your contribution will be warmly welcomed.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)

Cost: Students £116, others £145, some bursaries; mineral water, coffee, tea, biscuits, liquorice allsorts included; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled


Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com


For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning: Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé. Inner Circle Seminar 194 (15 September 2013)

Sigmund Freud
Hotel Marienbad, Munich
where Rilke stayed in September 1913
Rainer Maria Rilke
Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning



Lou Andreas Salomé
A critical examination of Freud’s theory of mourning in the light of Rainer Maria Rilke’s and Lou Andreas-Salomé’s poetic and existential thinking of mourning

For the centenary of Freud's walk (if it was a walk) with a ‘young poet’ and a ‘silent friend’, described in his essay ‘Transience’ (1916)

Anthony Stadlen
(with the help of
Karin Weisensel)
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 194
Sunday 15 September 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This seminar is an exploration of the existential phenomenology of mourning.

Our starting-point will be a conversation which Sigmund Freud reported having had a hundred years ago. In ‘Vergänglichkeit’ (‘Transience’, 1916), a short essay (eight paragraphs; 1,103 words), he describes his walk with a silent friend and a young poet through a ‘blossoming summer landscape’. The poet, says Freud, could not enjoy the beauty because of its transience. Neither the poet nor the ‘silent friend’, Freud tells us, was convinced by his argument that transience gives ‘scarcity value in time’. Freud claims that their failure to be impressed with his reasoning was due to their resisting the experience of mourning.

But how well did he himself understand mourning? Did he understand what his companions, whoever they were, were saying? Freud tries to explain mourning psychoanalytically and scientistically, in terms of an ‘object’ ‘cathected’ with ‘libido’ which must be ‘withdrawn’ when the ‘object’ is ‘lost’. He expounds this theory in his paper ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ (1917) and summarises it succinctly in the essay ‘Transience’ (1916). But how valid is this theory? Apart from its scientism, is it not essentially a theory of love as applied narcissism? Does it do justice to the human reality of mourning?

It is generally thought that the poet was Rainer Maria Rilke and that the ‘silent friend’ was Lou Andreas-Salomé. But how likely is this? The three met briefly in September 1913, in a hotel in Munich: where was the ‘blossoming summer landscape’ Freud described? And Rilke is the existential poet of mourning. He had already written, for example, two of his Duino Elegies, as well as his ‘Requiem’ for Paula Modersohn-Becker. Andreas-Salomé was also a profound and sensitive thinker, in tune with both Freud’s and Rilke’s quests. Have Freud’s companions been misidentified? Whether or not this is the case, does not Rilke’s and Andreas-Salomé’s poetic and existential thinking do more justice to mourning than Freud’s pseudo-scientific account? And if it was indeed with them that he discussed transience, might he not have misunderstood their position?

The discussion of these questions will introduce our investigation of mourning. What really happens when we mourn? Are we mourning an ‘internal object’ or ‘image’, or a person?

Karin Weisensel is a psychotherapist who has researched Lou Andreas-Salomé as an existential thinker. Anthony Stadlen is an existential psychotherapist and historical researcher, convenor of the Inner Circle Seminars. You are cordially invited to contribute to the discussion.

Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, mineral water and biscuits included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Freud’s ‘Katharina …’ Case. Inner Circle Seminar 193 (7 July 2013)



The Ottohaus on the Rax (where Freud met ‘Katharina ...’ in August 1893)
A photograph in winter by her brother, Camillo Kronich

Freud’s ‘Katharina …’ Case

120 years after their mountaintop meeting
An historical investigation and revaluation

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 193
Sunday 7 July 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In three 1896 papers Freud expounded what others have called his ‘seduction theory’ of childhood sexual abuse as the ‘specific aetiology’ of ‘hysteria’. He never published any case studies as evidence either for the theory or for his subsequent retraction of it. But in his short case study ‘Katharina ...’ in Studies on Hysteria (1895) he comes closer than in any of his other case studies to stating the ‘seduction theory’ of 1896. Psychoanalysts usually describe the ‘Katharina ...’ case, condescendingly, as ‘pre-analytic’. But perhaps ‘Katharina’ was lucky to be spared Freud at his more ‘analytic’, as in the 1905 ‘Dora’ case. And ordinary readers, who have often felt particular affection for the ‘Katharina ...’ case, may have more insight into its true importance.

On 20 August 1893 Freud wrote from Reichenau, at the foot of the Raxalpe south of Vienna, that on the 18th and 19th he and a friend had made a ‘tour around and on the Rax’; that on the 19th he had been in the new refuge house on that mountain; and that he had been ‘consulted by the innkeeper’s daughter on the Rax’: ‘it was a beautiful case for me.’ In Studies on Hysteria (1895), Freud disguises the daughter as ‘Katharina …’; the year as ‘189–’; the mountain as in the Hohe Tauern; and her father (who, he says, she told him had sexually molested her) as her ‘uncle’ (though, in a 1924 footnote, he reproaches himself for this particular disguise).

Freud says that his case-histories in the Studies ‘read like novellas’ but that they have the advantage over psychiatric case-histories that they show the relation between ‘Leidensgeschichte’ (‘existential suffering history’, ‘passion narrative’) and ‘illness-symptoms’. The ‘Katharina …’ case study does indeed read like a novella, or even a Sherlock Holmes story; but does it justify Freud’s claim? Was she ‘nervously ill’, as he says she said? Was hers a case of ‘hysteria’, as he diagnoses? Or was she really a ‘schizophrenic’, as psychiatrists such as Goshen have insisted? Was this ‘less an analysed case than one solved by guessing’, as Freud grants? Was it a ‘wild analysis’, as Anna Freud called it? Was his ‘guessing’ correct? Was Freud’s chronology of the case seriously wrong, thereby throwing into doubt his theory of the ‘aetiology’ of ‘hysteria’, as Swales has argued? Did her conversation with Freud help ‘this girl so early wounded in her sexual sensibility’, as he hoped? And, as regards her later life, did ‘Katharina’ and her husband get divorced, as Fichtner and Hirschmüller assert?  

To try to answer these questions, Anthony Stadlen has researched the case historically in Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Canada. In this seminar he will report some of his still unpublished findings, for example from interviews with a daughter; a daughter-in-law; and a half-brother and half-sister of ‘Katharina’, her father’s children by her cousin ‘Franziska’ with whom she discovered him having sexual intercourse.

Whether you are a psychoanalyst, an existential psychotherapist, or a family therapist, or are simply intrigued by this short case study, you are welcome to contribute to the discussion of its possible historical revaluation and implications for psychotherapy today.


Venue:  ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Existential Pioneers. 14. Jean-Paul Sartre. Being and Nothingness, 70 years on. Inner Circle Seminar 192 (16 June 2013)



Jean-Paul Sartre

 Existential Pioneers
14. Jean-Paul Sartre
(21 June 1905 15 April 1980)
Being and Nothingness
70 years on – a reappraisal

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 192
16 June 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jean-Paul Sartre’s book Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology was published in June 1943 during the Nazi occupation of Paris. It is the primary treatise of ‘existentialism’: indeed, in effect the only one, as Sartre was virtually the only philosopher to accept this label. Yet very few ‘existential psychotherapists’ dare take seriously Sartre’s radical insistence on utter personal responsibility.

Moreover, many of them suppose that ‘existential’ thinking is not concerned with ‘the past’. But, in the book’s crucial section, Existential Psychoanalysis, Sartre criticises Freud for not being interested enough in childhood. Sartre demands that each so-called ‘psychotherapy’ shall be a piece of original, unrepeatable research to reveal the unique ‘original project’ by which the person defines himself in response to his unique familial and social situation.

Also of fundamental importance for psychotherapists of every school is, or should be, Sartre’s account of what he calls ‘bad faith’: self-deception. It includes a radical critique of Freud’s division of ‘the mind’ into ‘agencies’, including the so-called ‘censorship’, and of psychoanalysis for envisaging ‘a lie without a liar’. As Laing pointed out, there is some phenomenological validity in the psychoanalytic idea of ‘mental mechanisms’, since some people do experience themselves as ‘patients’, whose ‘minds’ have a ‘mechanical’ quality. But Sartre shows therapists how not to stop there and settle for this, but to facilitate the person’s discovering the so-called ‘mechanism’ as his own action in bad faith on his own experience, so that the ‘patient’ becomes an agent: the profound meaning of Freud’s ‘Where It was, shall I come to be.’

Therapists should also know of Sartre’s concept of ‘pure reflection’, where consciousness transcends its habitual, ‘impure’ reflection on itself as a kind of thing, a ‘psyche’ or ‘congealed’ consciousness, and becomes aware of itself as utter translucidity, the primal source of freedom and responsibility. This gives a philosophical foundation for certain transcendental experiences (described in the literature as the Inner Light, the Clear Light of the Void, etc.), which Sartre himself was, according to David Cooper, who knew him personally, inhibited about exploring, but psychotherapists should not be.

Thus, Sartre’s difficult, apparently abstruse book can be enormously helpful to the working psychotherapist in his or her daily practice. However, very few therapists have read it, even though they call themselves ‘existential’. The leading Daseinsanalyst Alice Holzhey considers that those who limit their ‘existential’ reading to Heidegger and ignore Sartre are missing something of great importance for psychotherapists. Thomas Szasz, while deploring the shabby (personal and political) side of Sartre, greatly admired his insistence on personal freedom and responsibility.

In 2014, we shall explore the applications of Sartre’s thinking by Laing, Esterson and Cooper in Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964) and Reason and Violence (1964), both published 50 years ago. Carole Seymour-Jones will conduct a seminar based on her book A Dangerous Liaison: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (2008). We shall also start a new subseries of eleven Inner Circle Seminars devoted to each in turn of the eleven families in Sanity, Madness and the Family, linked with seminars on Shakespeare and ‘madness’.

The present seminar, while self-contained, will lay the foundations for these subsequent seminars. You are invited to contribute to the discussion.
Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit:
http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Ernst Falzeder conducts: A Psychiatric Conspiracy Against Psychoanalysis. Inner Circle Seminar 191 (12 May 2013)



Alfred Hoche




Eugen Bleuler
A Psychiatric Conspiracy Against Psychoanalysis

A centenary study of the congress of German psychiatrists in Breslau (13-14 May 1913)

Ernst Falzeder
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 191
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 12 May 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Psychiatry is essentially coercive; psychotherapy is essentially contractual. But psychiatry and psychotherapy masquerade as companionate, compassionate sister-professions. Psychotherapy serves as the handmaiden of psychiatry. But sometimes the mask drops. Fritz Wittels reported that, at the 1910 Nuremberg Psychoanalytic Congress, Sigmund Freud had said he was ‘perpetually attacked’; and, seizing his coat by the lapels, had declared: ‘They won’t even leave me a coat to my back’. Historians have dismissed Freud’s complaint as paranoid. But today, Ernst Falzeder, lecturer at the University of Innsbruck, psychotherapist, researcher, author, editor and translator, will show that Freud underestimated the conspiracy against him. Professor Falzeder will give evidence that, at the 1913 Breslau Congress of German Psychiatrists, Freud was unaware of the ‘perfectly staged concerted action’ of the psychiatrists led by Alfred Hoche, future advocate of ‘the extermination of life unworthy of life’, against the psychoanalysts, led by Eugen Bleuler, thought by Freud to be at best ‘ambivalent’.

Professor Falzeder’s detailed historical focus on a psychiatric congress a hundred years ago will be the starting-point for his historical examination of the continuing relationship between psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and for our exploration of the politics of the masked conflict between them from 1896 to the present, in which reciprocal accusations of lack of scientificity obscure the radical contradiction between coercion and contract, compulsion and consent. Nothing could be more relevant to the present-day predicament of psychotherapy degraded to a purported ‘health profession’. Freud himself tried to have it both ways by being accepted by psychiatry (he was not himself a psychiatrist); and he colluded with psychiatric incarceration and compulsion. But in his ‘Postscript to The Question of Lay Analysis’ (1927) he repeatedly called psychoanalysis a ‘secular care of the soul’ (‘weltliche Seelsorge’): ‘What we practise is Seelsorge in the best sense’; ‘Only if we pursue analytic Seelsorge will we deepen our just dawning insight into human soul-life (Seelenleben).’

Thomas Szasz saw the issue of compulsion or consent as defining the respective paradigmatic activities of psychiatrists and psychoanalysts, although of course there is voluntary psychiatry and compulsory psychotherapy. R. D. Laing, whose main focus was mystification and ‘false consciousness’, practised compulsory psychiatry at times, and in 1979 ridiculed Szasz’s call for the abolition of compulsory psychiatry by writing that, if abolition came about, ‘it would all be much the same’. Szasz saw this as an insulting infantilisation, equivalent to an argument that it was pointless to abolish slavery because we are all enslaved.

Szasz, while calling Freud an ‘evil genius’, nevertheless saw in his characterisation of psychoanalysis as ‘secular care of the soul’ a possibility, scarcely glimpsed in practice, for an ‘autonomous psychotherapy’ purged of its corruption by compulsory psychiatry and dehumanising scientism. Laing concurred with this. Today, we shall continue the debate. You are warmly invited to contribute to the discussion.
 
Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees and students £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Existential Pioneers. 13. Søren Kierkegaard. Inner Circle Seminar 190 (21 April 2013)




Søren Kierkegaard

Existential Pioneers
13. Søren Kierkegaard
(5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855)

A 200th-Birthday Enquiry
into his Concepts of
Dread (Angest) and Despair (Fortvivlelse)

Anthony Stadlen
(with the help of
Daphne Hampson)
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 190
Sunday 21 April 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Today we celebrate (two weeks early) the two-hundredth birthday of Søren Kierkegaard.

We shall start by asking why Kierkegaard was so highly regarded by leading twentieth- and twenty-first century philosophers and psychotherapists. Why did Ludwig Wittgenstein call this Danish writer ‘a saint’ and ‘by far the greatest thinker of the ninteenth century’? Why did Martin Buber, Ludwig Binswanger, Karl Jaspers, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Martin Heidegger, Carl Rogers, Jean-Paul Sartre, Rollo May, Thomas Szasz, and R. D. Laing revere him?

Then we shall focus on two of Kierkegaard’s central concepts, ‘dread’ (‘angest’) and ‘despair’ (‘fortvivlelse’), much cited by psychotherapists. What did he mean by them? Did he even mean them? In what sense are they his concepts? They occur in The Concept of Dread (1844) and The Sickness unto Death (1849), two of Kierkegaard’s pseudonymously written books, designed to lead readers ‘indirectly’ to truth, by stating and developing positions not necessarily his own, by contrast with his ‘upbuilding discourses’, such as Works of Love, which he intended as ‘direct’ communication and published in his own name. The pseudonymous ‘authors’ derive both concepts, ‘dread’ and ‘despair’, from ‘original sin’ (also called ‘hereditary sin’), a dogma regarded by Judaism as an heretical Christian misinterpretation by Paul and Augustine of the Bible story, and by humanism as a devaluing of human curiosity and desire. Why, then, do religious-Jewish and atheist-humanist, as well as Christian, existential philosophers and psychotherapists nevertheless value these books and these concepts so highly? What relevance do the concepts of  ‘dread’ and ‘despair’, as explored by Kierkegaard’s pseudonyms, have for the practice of psychotherapy? Your contribution to the discussion of these questions will be welcome.

Professor Daphne Hampson is a distinguished theologian, and author of Kierkegaard: Exposition & Critique (2013), which will be published on 25 April (but can be bought now from Oxford University Press in time for the seminar). Professor Hampson will give an introduction to the historical, philosophical and theological background of each of the books The Concept of Dread and The Sickness unto Death.
  
Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees and students £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

Barry Cooper and Edward Walden conduct: Beethoven’s Crisis 2. Inner Circle Seminar 189 (17 March 2013)






Ludwig van Beethoven
by Joseph Carl Stieler
1818-19
Ludwig van Beethoven
by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
1823
Josephine Brunsvik






Bettina Brentano
Beethoven's Crisis 2
Criteria for truth in biography
200 years on

Barry Cooper   Edward Walden
conduct
Inner Circle Seminar No. 189
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 17 March 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Karl van Beethoven

Antonie Brentano







This seminar will explore whether Ludwig van Beethoven was sane or mad, good or bad, among other things. This is of immediate relevance for psychotherapy. How are such judgements to be made? If Sartre is right that there is no psychology, but that we may improve the biography of a person, how are we to do so? How may we establish biographical facts? How may we interpret the facts we find? In Beethoven’s case, the historical data include his compositions, his sketch books, and his conversation books in which, because he was deaf, his interlocutors wrote their questions, answers and comments from which his own answers, questions and comments can, at best, only be inferred. Can biography, historiography, musicology, psychoanalysis, or existential analysis do justice to such a quintessentially human life as Beethoven’s? What are the criteria for truth in this field?

Why is there impassioned dispute among scholars about the identity of the woman whom Beethoven called his ‘immortal beloved’? Did Beethoven have a lifelong fantasy that he was not his father’s son, as the musicologist Maynard Solomon, appealing to psychoanalysis, contends? Why did Beethoven fight his sister-in-law Johanna for sole custody of his dead brother’s son Karl? Why did Karl attempt suicide? Was Beethoven a tyrannical Führer-figure, as the psychoanalysts Richard and Edith Sterba claim? Did he deserve to be locked up by the police as a tramp, as he once was? Was he ‘ripe for the madhouse’ as the composer Weber said, and many repeat today? Is part of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, which he called his greatest work, ‘insane’, as John Eliot Gardiner, one of its greatest conductors, says? Can we reconcile any of this with the view of Barry Cooper, who leads our discussion today, that Beethoven was a decent, moral man? Professor Cooper writes: ‘Beethoven’s goodness and kindness were so evident to his contemporaries that at least three of them independently asserted that he was even greater as a human being than as a musician. Considering that many regard him as the greatest composer in history, this is astonishing.’ Were these three witnesses deluded?

Barry Cooper is Professor of Music at the University of Manchester; a musicologist, composer, and organist; author of Beethoven and The Creative Process (1990), Beethoven’s Folksong Settings (1994), Beethoven (2008); and co-author of The Beethoven Compendium (1991). He is one of the world’s greatest Beethoven scholars, and an ideal guide to our continued investigation today.
Edward Walden is a lawyer whose book Beethovens Immortal Beloved: Solving the Mystery (2011) meticulously argues the supposedly ‘discredited’ case that Bettina Brentano was the ‘immortal beloved’. Today, he will explain his reasoning, but also give a balanced account of the claims that have been made for Antonie Brentano and Josephine Brunsvik.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26-32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.