Wednesday 1 January 2003

Inner Circle Seminars (2003)


All seminars are conducted by Anthony Stadlen unless otherwise stated.

Sunday 19 January 2003
Existential Differences: Introduction

This seminar introduces the overarching theme of this year’s seminars: an exploration of points of difference and agreement between the great existential psychotherapists.

Sunday 16 February 2003
Two English Anniversaries: Frederic Myers and Peter Lomas

Frederic Myers’s book, Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death, was published 100 years ago this month, in February 1903. We explore its relevance for existential psychotherapy.
Peter Lomas, born 27 February 1923, celebrates his 80th birthday this month. We examine some of the writings of this independent existential psychotherapist.

Sunday 16 March 2003
Medard Boss Centenary Year:
(1) The Analysis of Dreams (1953) 50 years On

Medard Boss was born 100 years ago this October. 50 years ago, in 1953, he published The Analysis of Dreams, perhaps the most important twentieth-century book on dreams after Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. Written in collaboration with Heidegger, it asks the simple, profound question: ‘What if there are no dream symbols at all?’

Sunday 11 May 2003
Heidegger’s Nazi Rectorship (27 May 1933):
Implications for Psychotherapy 70 Years On

On 27 May 1933, Martin Heidegger was installed as National Socialist Rector of Freiburg University. His rectorship speech, ‘The self-assertion of the German university’, has been widely condemned. But Jaspers praised it. And one passage alludes to psychotherapy. The first person to locate it will win a prize. We examine the implications for psychotherapy, 70 years on.

Sunday 22 June 2003
Medard Boss Centenary Year:
(2) Boss and Szasz on ‘Illness’

For both Boss and Szasz, the concept of freedom is crucial. But they appear to have radically different concepts of ‘illness’. For Boss, ‘illness’ is a restriction of Da-sein’s free possibilities. ‘Schizophrenia’ is, for him, an ‘illness’ of Da-sein. Szasz says this invalidates the person as not responsible for his actions. In his view, ‘illness’ can predicate only the body, not the ‘mind’. Are these positions in any way reconcilable? We seek an answer that will do justice to both.

Sunday 6 July 2003
(conducted by MALCOLM MACMILLAN, introduced by Anthony Stadlen, in the Victoria and Albert Museum)
Freud, Michelangelo, Moses: The Limitations of ‘Empathy’

Malcolm Macmillan presents his and Peter Swales’s findings on Freud’s ‘The Moses of Michelangelo’. He argues that this paradigmatic text for psychoanalysts and art historians is based on elementary misreadings and errors. At the Victoria and Albert Museum we shall see a reconstruction of the statue as Michelangelo intended it. We explore the implications for psychotherapy.

Sunday 20 July 2003
Thomas Szasz’s Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry (1963) 40 Years On

Szasz’s book, The Myth of Mental Illness (1961), argued that ‘mental illness’ and ‘mental health’ were literalised metaphors. His Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry (1963), examined the legal and political motives for, and consequences of, the ‘myth’. Szasz argued for the abolition of compulsory psychiatry and the insanity defence, because they coerce the innocent and excuse the criminal. We ask whether he was right, and explore the implications for psychotherapy today.

Sunday 21 September 2003
Aaron Esterson
(25 September 1923 – 15 April 1999): 80th Anniversary Reflections

The case studies in Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964) and The Leaves of Spring (1970) present a revolutionary approach to ‘schizophrenia’. They also offer psychotherapists new ways of understanding the relation between family and individual existential position.

Sunday 26 October 2003
(conducted by GION CONDRAU, introduced by Anthony Stadlen)
Medard Boss (4 October 1903 – 21 December 1990) Centenary Reflections

Dr Gion Condrau is the world’s leading Daseinsanalyst. He was close to Medard Boss from 1939 until his death in 1990. He is now Boss’s successor. He attended Heidegger’s Zollikon seminars from 1959 to 1969. In his eighty-fifth year, in the centenary month of Boss’s birth, he honours us by coming from Zurich to conduct a seminar on Boss, Heidegger, Daseinsanalysis, and his collaboration with Boss in creating it. Subscriptions must be paid by 26 SEPTEMBER (£64 for students, £80 for others).

Sunday 30 November 2003
(conducted by SHEILA KITZINGER, introduced by Anthony Stadlen)
The Existential Phenomenology of Childbirth

Sheila Kitzinger has done more than anyone to reveal, and help women rediscover, the experience of childbirth. Her first, groundbreaking book, The Experience of Childbirth (1962), pioneered the idea of a woman’s giving birth, rather than leaving it to professionals. In this seminar, she will draw on her unequalled knowledge of the relationship between mothers and babies, of fundamental importance for the practice and theory of psychotherapy.

Sunday 20 June 2004
(conducted by SUSANNAH HESCHEL, introduced by Anthony Stadlen)
Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Passion for Truth (1973)

Susannah Heschel, herself a distinguished author, will conduct a seminar on the last book of her late father, the existential rabbi, Abraham Joshua Heschel. A Passion for Truth is a comparison of the writings of Kierkegaard and his contemporary, Reb Menahem Mendl, the rabbi of Kotzk.

In 2004 and 2005, we shall also explore in a systematic way the case studies in Laing and Esterson’s Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964), assessing their significance forty years on.


Existential Apprenticeship

This is a unique venture in existential psychotherapy training. It may complement existing training, or help qualified psychotherapists to deepen their knowledge and improve their practice.

The heart of the training is the ethical, existential, phenomenological exploration of a ‘canon’ of more than one hundred case studies, some classic, some less known, from the existential, Freudian, and Jungian traditions. The spirit of the training is the existential principle that theory, in its original Greek meaning, is contemplation of practice. Existential training should, therefore, include as a central component, in addition to personal therapy and supervision, the critical examination of the practice of leading practitioners, as recorded in their case studies, or in autobiographical accounts by clients. There is no fixed length for this training. In principle, it is a lifelong quest, and it is up to each participant to decide how long to attend the seminars. There are three terms a year, each of ten seminars.

Sunday seminars from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Regent’s College Conference Centre, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS (except for 6 July at the Victoria and Albert Museum).

Wednesday seminars from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 64 Dartmouth Park Road, London, NW5 1SN or Regent’s College Conference Centre (see above), depending on numbers.

Cost: Sundays: students £59 (£64 from September), others £76 (£80 from September), in advance. Wednesdays: students £32 per seminar, £270 per term of 10 seminars; others £40 per seminar, £350 per term of 10 seminars. (There are some bursaries.)

On Sundays, cars may be parked in the College all day for £7, or in the Inner Circle for £1 per hour between 9 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. On Wednesdays, parking is free in Dartmouth Park Road, and in the Inner Circle after 6.30 p.m. Baker Street underground is ten minutes’ walk. Breastfeeding mothers and babies are welcome in the seminars. There is access for people with disabilities at Regent’s College Conference Centre. Refreshments may be bought on Sundays in the College Refectory or the Park CafĂ©; on Wednesdays there are delicious refreshments on the house.

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, 64 Dartmouth Park Road, London NW5 1SN
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7485 3896 E-mail:

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