Sunday 1 January 2017

Heidegger Zollikon Seminars. 9. Baby Dasein – mother-baby Mitdasein. Tanja Staehler & Anthony Stadlen conduct Inner Circle Seminar 240 (10 December 2017)

Heidegger’s Zollikon Seminars


A 50th-anniversary revaluation

9. Heidegger and Boss discuss Freud (2)
(Taormina, April 1963)

Baby Dasein – mother-baby Mitdasein
Demystifying ‘Introjection

‘... [the child] is out there” still absorbed in the ways of being-in-the-world of its mother.’

Tanja Staehler   Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 240
Sunday 10 December 2017
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Martin Heidegger with his son Jörg

Martin Heidegger
at home in Freiburg
Heidegger and Boss
on the Feldweg south of Messkirch, 1963
Tanja Staehler with her sons Luka and Nikolai

In this seminar we continue exploring Heidegger’s original, positive, and creative rethinking of Freud’s understanding of human beings and their relationships. Too many existential therapists practise shallow supportive counselling mystified with pretentious ‘existential’ jargon. They remain complacently ignorant of psychoanalysis and so fail to help their clients to learn from history and break the cycle of repeating it. Similarly, too many psychoanalysts are caught in a mechanistic ‘metapsychology’ that mystifies human freedom. Todays seminar points the way to transcending this schizoid split which dishonours our profession.

In April 1963 in TaorminaSicily, preparing the Zollikon seminars, Martin Heidegger showed Medard Boss how Daseinsanalysis could demythologise and purify psychoanalysis. He did not throw Freud’s phenomenological insights out with the ‘metapsychological’ bathwater, but understood them as ‘ecstatic world-relationship’ rather than as ‘psychic mechanism’. Today we explore Heidegger’s critique of the psychoanalytic concept of introjection introduced by Ferenczi and adopted by FreudAbraham, and Klein to conceptualise how a baby relates to its mother. The truth, says Heidegger, is the opposite: the child is out there” still absorbed in the ways of being-in-the-world of its mother. We also examine Heidegger’s discussion, in his 1928-9 lectures (Introduction to Philosophy) the year after he published Being and Time, of a new-born baby as already Da-sein, being-in-the-world. This ‘crying, wriggling moving into the world’ shows that the baby is not a ‘shut-in subject’ but ‘already out there with ...’. This is surely a simple but profound way of understanding and not doing violence to human reality. But does Heidegger do justice to the rich phenomenology of so-called 
‘unconscious’ bodily phantasy, for example of so-called introjection, as described by Freud, Ferenczi, Abraham, Klein, and subsequent psychoanalysts?

What is the history of our childhood with which each of us has to come to terms? It can be radically clarified and transformed, or further mystified and degraded, through psychotherapy. This is sometimes a matter of existential life or death, for our clients and for us.

Tanja Staehler
, Professor of European Philosophy at the University of Sussex, has written many papers relating Heidegger’s thinking to birth and mother-baby relationships.

Anthony Stadlen
 is the only UK Daseinsanalyst, an existential, psychoanalytic, and family psychotherapist; he is convenor of the Inner Circle Seminars.

Mothers with babies are especially welcome in the seminar to contribute to an evaluation of Heidegger’s account.

Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Cost: Mothers with babies £20, psychotherapy trainees £132, others £165, some bursaries; coffee, tea, mineral water, biscuits, berries, nuts 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:
For further information on seminars, visit:

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 universities.

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