Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Laing & Esterson: 9. The Irwins. Inner Circle Seminar 106 (5 November 2006)

Aaron Esterson

R. D. Laing and A. Esterson

Sanity, Madness and the Family
40 Years On

Family 9: The Irwins

Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 106
Sunday 5 November 2006
10 a.m. to 5 p.m

‘We believe that the shift of point of view that these descriptions both embody and demand has an historical significance no less radical than the shift from a demonological to a clinical viewpoint three hundred years ago.’

Thus, in 1964, R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson introduced their great phenomenological descriptions of eleven families of ‘schizophrenics’. They questioned the existence of ‘schizophrenia’. But, four decades on, the ‘clinical viewpoint’ still reigns supreme. Were Laing and Esterson wrong? Or is current work on families and ‘schizophrenia’ an existential retrogression?

Eleven seminars, studying each family in depth, offer an unprecedented opportunity to explore this question. There have been dramatic moments in the first eight seminars. You are welcome to attend any or all of the remaining three.

Anthony Stadlen, existential psychotherapist and convenor of the Inner Circle Seminars, was a colleague of Aaron Esterson for many years, and continues Esterson’s method of social phenomenology in his own research and practice.

Venue: Room F, Acland Building, Regent’s College, London NW1
Cost: Students £77, others £99, in advance; some bursaries
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail:

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