Comments on Inner Circle Seminars

Comments on Inner Circle Seminars

From Anonymous (8 April 2024)

I had also been meaning to write you, as a few people brought your article‘Intellectuals and Sexual Abuse’ to my attention. It was both eye-opening and a breath of fresh air in this stagnant existential clique that seems to just regurgitate the same surface-level ideas. So few people want to acknowledge or listen to this issue, and I know it means a lot to many of us who have histories of sexual violence that you are taking this so seriously, speaking out about it, and drawing attention to it. Your voice has really given us/me, a lot of confidence to speak and write more about this and fight for changes in the syllabuses which currently train people to uncritically adore these thinkers without any acknowledgement of who they were as people, spawning cohort after cohort of oblivious dedicated followers.

* Inner Circle Seminar No. 283, Intellectuals and Sexual Abuse, Sunday 18 June 2023.

From Anonymous (19 June 2023)

You can quote me as a doctoral trainee and survivor of CSA [child sexual abuse] and grooming: I am so grateful to you for opening this forum*. You’ve made me feel less alone. We have to talk about the history of both psychoanalysis and existentialism when it comes to the age of consent and attitudes to intergenerational sex and CSA. The big point for me here is that while existential philosophy has some invaluable concepts for psychotherapy, ethical questions need to be thoroughly explored and clarified, because we work in a profession of care and will inevitably work with survivors of sexual trauma. Personally I am glad you took a stance on paedophilia that was not neutral. As a survivor, I would have found it incredibly triggering to read an introduction to the seminar that left that point unclear...

* Inner Circle Seminar No. 283, Intellectuals’ and Sexual Abuse, Sunday 18 June 2023.

From Elizabeth Moore, Psychotherapist, Cambridge Society for Psychotherapy (18 June 2023)

Thank you so much for todays seminar*. Its such an important and fraught topic and Im grateful that you provided and always provide a space where all ideas can be discussed and examined. Youre fearless in being willing to delve into any subject with a genuine openness to what might unfold in the course of discussion and debate. Im afraid that makes you an intellectual in the very best sense of the word!

I value your seminars very highly and feel extremely grateful to be a part of them. I'm absolutely happy for you to include my words in your blog. I think it's very unfortunate indeed when people are pressured or intimidated to exclude any question from open discourse, however difficult it might be. I admire your courage in persevering, despite the attempts to dissuade you, and I feel we had a very valuable and thought-provoking conversation as a consequence. I find the Inner Circle seminars a place where everyone has a voice and we can debate and discuss in a genuine spirit of inquiry. I'm very much looking forward to the next one.

* Inner Circle Seminar No. 283, Intellectuals and Sexual Abuse, Sunday 18 June 2023.

From Anonymous (24 March 2023)

I think about the Inner Circle often. I speak about it at work and my continuing studies remain shaped by the principles of your teaching. Whether consuming books that were mentioned in past seminars, or in current circulars, the truth is that my pursuit of answers (or rather – a pursuit of more accurate questions) continues to be mapped by you. Just last week I read Karl Jaspers, The Philosophy of Existence, Rollo May’s The Meaning of Anxiety is now underway, and Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Anxiety is waiting patiently on the bedside table. If you looked at my book catalogue over the last few years, with the odd exception, I believe you’d have something to say on each. Your voice is often the one I hear as I peruse the bookshelves. The Inner Circle is where I feel I have made my greatest insights, beyond plastic research – insight into my very existence … and I need that.

From Elizabeth Moore, Psychotherapist, Cambridge Society for Psychotherapy (6 and 9 March 2023)

I'm writing to thank you for the highly engaging and rewarding seminar yesterday. It was such an interesting discussion and Id love to continue participating in the conversations youre hosting. [...]

I very much look forward to meeting again and to participating in future seminars. What an extraordinary achievement that you've already hosted 280 and counting. As far as my learning about them, I suppose better late than never!

From Marilyn Piety, Professor of Philosophy, Drexel University,
Philadephia, USA (14 February 2023)

I just wanted to write to thank you for inviting me to give the Inner Circle Seminar* last Sunday. It was, like the first one* I gave, a really lovely experience.
I am going to make a concerted effort to attend some of the other seminars as well because I am sure they are equally satisfying and enriching.
It is really a wonderful thing you are doing in organising these seminars, and it is a real privilege to be a part of them.

*Marilyn Piety conducted Inner Circle Seminars No. 264 and 279 on KierkegaardRepetition and 
Philosophical Crumbs (Sundays 28 February 2021 and 12 February 2023)                      
From Professor Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (1 February 2022):

SO wish I could attend this seminar!* You keep coming up with the greatest ideas!

[But she can and did attend. She had not realised it would be by Zoom. A.S.]

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 273 conducted by Professor Derek S. Jeffreys, Love in Dark Places  (Zoom, Sunday 13  February 2022)

From Daren Messenger, existential psychotherapist (10 October 2021)

I must admit that I had no expectations as to these Kierkegaard seminars but have discovered that they have come at such an important time in my life and with such relevance for my thinking about me in my relational life - spiritual and interpersonal - and my work. What a remarkable opportunity to sit with some of the greatest Kierkegaard scholars in the world. Thank you.

From Daren Messenger, existential psychotherapist (26 June 2021)

[...] the sublime themes we have been discussing [...] this has not been experienced as CPD’ in the usual banal sense!

From Malcolm Freeman, existential psychotherapist (22 March 2021)

The seminar yesterday* was fantastic. You are certainly pulling in some amazing speakers in this Kierkegaard series.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 265 conducted by Professor C. Stephen Evans of Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA on Divine Command Theory in Kierkegaards Either/Or, Fear and Trembling and Works of Love (Zoom, Sunday 21 March 2021) 

From Marilyn Piety, Professor of Philosophy, Drexel University,
Philadephia, USA (7 March 2021)

I can’t thank you enough for inviting me to be a part of the seminar series*. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had. It was a wonderful group of people and an excellent discussion.

*Marilyn Piety attended other seminars in the series Kierkegaard 16 October 1843 and conducted Inner Circle Seminar No. 264 on Kierkegaards Repetition (Zoom, Sunday 28 February 2021) 

From Marilyn Piety, Professor of Philosophy, Drexel University,

Philadephia, USA (2 February 2021)

Anthony Stadlen, an existential psychotherapist working in London has been running a series of international, interdisciplinary “Inner Circle Seminars” for many years. This year he has two seminar series that focus on Kierkegaard. The first series, which focuses on Fear and Trembling, is already underway. The fourth seminar in that series will be given by John Lippitt this May. 

Stadlen has arranged a second “satellite” series to supplement the Fear and Trembling series. This series will examine two other works, Repetition and Three Upbuilding Discourses. The reason for this additional series of seminars is that these two works were published the same day Fear and Trembling appeared, October 16, 1843. Stadlen’s assumption is that the three works should be understood together and that a careful reading of all three could help to make Kierkegaard’s purpose in the notoriously opaque Fear and Trembling a little easier to divine. 

I am very excited to be invited to be part of this seminar because I have a keen interest in the psychotherapeutic potential of philosophy and of Kierkegaard’s thought in particular. I’m actually a certified philosophical counselor and member of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. The series looks like it will be excellent. The seminar leaders, in addition to myself, are George PattisonC. Stephen EvansJerome (Yehuda) Gellman and Mariam Al-Attar. I won’t describe the seminars or the presenters in any detail here because Stadlen has posted an announcement about them that contains all the detail one would want, including his contact information. It will suffice here to say that 

— Pattison’s seminar will focus on Kierkegaard’s edifying discourses. 

— My seminar will focus on Repetition. 

— Evans will talk about “divine command theory” as it relates to Fear and Trembling and Works of Love. 

— Lippitt, who gave the first two seminars in the main seminar series on Fear and Trembling, will focus on the questions of whether there is a “teleological suspension of the ethical” and whether there is “an absolute duty to God.” 

— Gellman will focus on Hasidic interpretations of the Akedah and the light these can cast on Kierkegaard’s treatment of it. 

— Finally, al-Attar will look at “divine command theory” in the Islamic tradition and it’s relation to Fear and Trembling.

More information on the seminars can be found on Stadlen’s blog.

From Neaha Madhavan, trainee existential therapist (27 September 2020)

Dear Naomi and Anthony

... just wanted to say thank you for the lovely seminar*. I thoroughly enjoyed being there and the discussions on motherhood, therapy and religious views. 

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 261. Naomi Stadlen conducted: Doing Nothing’: The Phenomenology of Mothering and Psychotherapy (Zoom, Sunday 13 September 2020)

From Rebecca Kirk (16 September 2020)

Dear Anthony and Naomi

[...] thank you again for organising the seminar* on Sunday.  It was a real treat to listen to such an interesting discussion and my brain has been buzzing about nothingness ever since!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 261. Naomi Stadlen conducted: Doing Nothing’: The Phenomenology of Mothering and Psychotherapy. (Zoom, Sunday 13 September 2020)

From Isella Knishkowsky, psychotherapist, Israel (15 September 2020)

Dear Naomi and Anthony
Thank you for putting together a wonderful seminar*.
I enjoyed meeting and listening to interesting people, I also enjoyed the way Naomi took us effortlessly (or so it seemed) through 7 hours of thinking out of the box’.
Time really flew by so quickly and I was left wanting more.
Keep up your important work!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 261. Naomi Stadlen conducted: Doing Nothing’: The Phenomenology of Mothering and Psychotherapy. (Zoom, Sunday 13 September 2020)

From John Bridgen, Christian priest (15 September 2020)

I want to thank you both very much indeed, Naomi for such a wonderful seminar* on Sunday and Anthony for inviting me to take part in it. As you say, everybody made it such a marvellous seminar’. I learnt a lot from it and it was really helpful to me. [...] I’m absolutely delighted that we‘re going to have another seminar together.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 261. Naomi Stadlen conducted: Doing Nothing’: The Phenomenology of Mothering and Psychotherapy. (Zoom, Sunday 13 September 2020)

From Monia Brizzi, counselling psychologist and psychotherapist (15 September 2020)

Thank you so much to you and Naomi for a truly remarkable seminar*, it will stay with me forever.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 261. Naomi Stadlen conducted: Doing Nothing’: The Phenomenology of Mothering and Psychotherapy. (Zoom, Sunday 13 September 2020)

From Jeffrey Schaler, existential psychoanalyst (14 June 2020)

A stupendous success*, Tony!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 258. Anthony Stadlen, with Jeffrey Schaler, Tomi Gomori, Keith Hoeller and Richard Vatz, conducted: The Myth of Thomas Szasz: A Centenary Celebration and Demythologisation. (Zoom, Sunday 14 June 2020)
From Angela Buxton, existential psychotherapist (4 May 2020)

Thanks so much for pioneering seminars on Zoom. I thought yesterday’s was marvellous. I loved being with people from all over the world hearing their insights and discussing topics at the heart of psychotherapy.

I had expected the seminar to be more of a lecture than usual but it seemed easier for us all to contribute than ever before; perhaps because with all attendees visible, it was clear when someone wanted to speak.

From Karin Weisensel, psychotherapist (14 May 2018):

Thank you again for a wonderful seminar yesterday. What an honour to have three family members present.

It was very moving learning about their lives with Hazel.

From Alesh Wotruba, Daseinsanalyst, Switzerland (28 September 2017):

I hope your interesting seminary was full success. In-between I got the permission of our secretary ... to include your sublime introduction to the topic in our post for SFDP-members ... your highly sophisticated way of dealing with such highly sensitive topic.

From Nicky Glegg (13 March 2017):

Thank you for another fascinating and stimulating seminar. I look forward to joining you again before too long  I think what you are doing is marvellous. 

From Marco Cortez (13 March 2017):

Thank you very much indeed for another great seminar.
It is really inspiring to have someone like you doing this unique type of work in the UK.

I am hoping to go more to your seminars.

From Johnathan Sunley (13 March 2017):

I thought this was a most scintillating seminar — thank you so much for organising and co-conducting it. 

From Alison R. Noyes, former solicitor and teacher of English literature (4 February 2017):

This seminar was so very interesting and I am grateful to have learned to put Cat Jeoffry properly in his place in Jubilate Agno. I hope Allan finds another locked-up person to talk to us about soon.

From Wang Xuefu, existential therapist, China (29 August 2016):

Thanks you for sending your information regularly. Your work is of great value, not only those who can attend seminars and those who cannot, such as me.

My name is Wang Xuefu, from China. I am also an existentially informed therapist, to say the least. I appreciate your seminar so much and I hope that some day I can go attend in person.

Morita Therapy is the approach I resonate deeply, it also has deep root in Chinese philosophy. I am glad to see that it is introduced at your seminar.


From Micki Ezri Longum, teacher in Oslo, searching for questions not answers (7 July 2016)

I should have loved to come to this. Had not heard of Tallis – looked him up, meant to just hear the beginning of a video-talk and stayed glued to my computer until it was over. A real Renaissance person with arms, legs, head in every field of knowledge and the amazing thing is that he has absorbed it all. A joy to hear!


From Victoria Childs, psychoanalytic psychotherapist (27 June 2016):
Victoria Childs

Thanks to you and Hilary for a great seminar* as usual.

I feel happy to have reclaimed a sense of the value of nonsense  and it emerged quite naturally from the discussion  no one ever locked up Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear for exploring nonsense, after all.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 226. Hilary Mantel and Anthony Stadlen conducted: Laing and Esterson. Sanity, Madness and the Family. 5. Ruby Eden and her family. 50 years on. (Durrants. Sunday 26 June 2016.)     

From Alison R. Noyes, former solicitor and teacher of English literature (24 May 2016):

Thank you for arranging such an interesting seminar*.  I feel quite set up after it.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 225. Katherine Morris conducted: Was Descartes a Cartesian Dualist(Oakleigh, Sunday 22 May 2016);postID=3806409151511601218

From Andy Salt, philosopher, Wu-style Tai Chi instructor (10 May 2016):

The seminars that you have going on over there are really quite remarkable. It isnt until one stops going that you realise quite how remarkable.

From Malcolm Macmillan, Professorial Fellow in Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne; formerly Visiting Professor, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Australia (20 December 2015):
Malcolm Macmillan

Best wishes for the seminar*. I’ve re-read Timpanaro completely and the comments by his critics (for the first time). Even allowing for my Marxist bias they are so weak and off the point that I see no need to re-endorse Timpanaro  but I do.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 221. Anthony Stadlen will conduct: Slips of the Freudians’. Timpanaro and his Marxist critics. (Oakleigh, Sunday 24 January 2016)

From Helen Brice, existential psychotherapist in private practice and at The Priory (14 December 2015):

Thanks for another stimulating seminar*, Anthony. There really isnt anything else out there that compares with your seminars.

I look forward to 14 February!**

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 220. Hilary Mantel, Adrian Laing, Anthony Stadlen conducted: Laing and Esterson. Sanity, Madness and the Family. 3. Claire Church and the Churches. 50 years on. (Durrants, Sunday 6 December 2015)

**Inner Circle Seminar No. 222. Hilary Mantel and Anthony Stadlen will conduct: Laing and Esterson. Sanity, Madness and the Family. 4. Sarah Danzig and the Danzigs, 50 years on. (Durrants, Sunday 14 February 2016)

From Tony Garnett, Producer of (among many other films) In Two Minds and Family Life, both written by David Mercer, directed by Ken Loach, and based on the family research of R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson (7 December 2015):

Tony-Garnett-008.jpg (620×372)
Tony Garnett
Thanks for a riveting day.*

Your knowledge of the subject is awesome. The tone of the day was combative and warm. The explorations were revealing.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 220. Hilary Mantel, Adrian Laing, Anthony Stadlen conducted: Laing and Esterson. Sanity, Madness and the Family. 3. Claire Church and the Churches. 50 years on. (Durrants, Sunday 6 December 2015)

From Erik Abrams, Existential Therapist (7 December 2015):

Hi Anthony,

It was good to see you and the Stadlen community yesterday.

I want to thank you and all the participants for a memorable day* at so many different levels  all to the good.

Hilarys talk was wonderfully eloquent, and seeing Anthony Stadlen and Adrian Laing at full throttle was a sight to behold!

Best Regards and thanks for an inspirational day,


*Inner Circle Seminar No. 220. Hilary Mantel, Adrian Laing, Anthony Stadlen conducted: Laing and Esterson. Sanity, Madness and the Family. 3. Claire Church and the Churches. 50 years on. (Durrants, Sunday 6 December 2015)

From Thanasis Georgas and Maria Korre, President and Co-president, 9th Forum of International Federation of Daseinsanalysis, Athens, 2015 (4 July 2015):

This is to invite you for the IFDA’S Forum in Athens (24,25,26/9/2015).
As you know, even from a distance, we follow with great interest all this work you are doing in the “Inner Circle Seminars”. We greatly appreciate your offer to the reflection and research for an existential-phenomenological "therapy" which is not “…corrupted and confused by the ideology of scientism”. As you say in your last announcement for the “Inner Circle Seminar” on Sunday 19 July 2015, “…then our "therapy" remains technological tinkering and our righteousness is as filthy rags”.

We, the Greek organizing committee, wonder if it would be possible to transfer something of the spirit and atmosphere of the “Inner Circle Seminars” at the IFDA’s Forum in Athens. Perhaps we could organize a presentation of your work regarding the Zollikon Seminars. If not all of the work you have done, at least a part of this (for example, Seminars of 6 and 8 July 1965 "Is the body and its bodying ... something somatic or something psychic or neither of the two?"). The duration of the presentation could be (at about) 1.5 hours or more.

Take into account that by September, the “Zollikon Seminars” will be published in Greek (from the German). It is an effort that has very much supported by the Greek Society.

Maybe, if you accept this invitation, you could have as your discussion partner Dr. Dimitris Yfantis (who is the translator of the Zollikon Seminars in Greek). Dr. Yfantis is a philosopher who lives in Cologne (Köln) in Germany and is one of the best translators of Martin Heidegger in Greek (he has also translated Hegel). 

From John Rowan, psychotherapist, supervisor, writer (16 May 2015):

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your presentation* yesterday. I have often wanted to attend your seminars, but never managed it, and this was a golden opportunity to sample your wares. More power to your elbow!
John Rowan

One of the things that struck me was that Stadlen's account of the early existentialist therapists was so negative. They used compulsion as psychiatrists, they conspired to put people in mental hospitals  many things that one would not expect. Hardly any of them acted as one might have hoped  great exemplars of the new thinking!

*Anthony Stadlen seminar: Does Existential Therapy Exist? On the Corruption of Existential Therapy by Mental Health. World Congress of Existential Therapy, Friday 15 May 2015. 

From Chris Mawson, Training Analyst, Institute of Psychoanalysis, London (25 March 2015):

Thank you for such an interesting and illuminating seminar*. Your work has made me want to explore further these highly significant and clinically relevant findings.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 213. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Laing and Esterson Sanity, Madness and the Family. 2. Lucy Blair and the Blairs. 50 years on. (Oakleigh, Sunday 22 March 2015) 

From Miles Groth, Professor of Psychology, Wagner College, Staten Island, NY, author of Translating Heidegger (29 September 2014): 

Miles Groth
Rojcewicz ... is the premier translator of Heidegger in English. The rest are amateurs by comparison. Good to recognize* him, finally!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 206. Richard Rojcewicz conducted: Existential Pioneers. 19. Martin Heidegger. The Question concerning Technology (Durrants, Sunday 19 October 2014) 

From Dame Hilary Mantel, writer, twice winner of Man Booker prize (7 July 2014):

Deborah Fosbrook  Adrian Laing  Anthony Stadlen  Hilary Mantel

It was interesting how hard it was for participants* to keep the reality of schizophrenia ‘in parenthesis’. The discussion kept jumping the rails. You said it would be like that.

(17 July 2014):

I shall always remember the moment of hearing Maya’s voice. Over the years the women who live in the book have become fabulous creatures to me. I no more expect to meet them than I expect to meet a mermaid; they speak from the depths.

(29 July 2014):

[Three weeks after the seminar, Maya Abbott died peacefully in her sleep. - Anthony Stadlen]

I find tears in my eyes. It may be fanciful or superstitious to say this, but perhaps you have released her. Perhaps it was the act of letting her voice free into the room the other week; while her body lay, as you said, bedbound and inert, her spirit was  escaping. I felt it was an important moment then and I feel it more now.

Adrian Laing    Anthony Stadlen    Hilary Mantel  

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 205. Hilary Mantel and Anthony Stadlen conducted: Laing and Esterson, Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics. 1. Maya Abbott and the Abbotts, 50 years on. (Durrants, Sunday 6 July 2014.)

Hilary Mantel had just been made a Dame in the Queens Birthday Honours. The date of the seminar, 6 July, was also her own birthday. The message on the cake reads: Happy Birthday Dame Hilary.

From Bernard Burgoyne, Lacanian psychoanalyst, Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalysis in the Institute of Social and Health Research at Middlesex University (7-8 July 2014):

Thank you so much for all your work and organisation for yesterdays session*. It was a privilege to be there  not only to hear Hilary Mantels presentation, but also to be able to hear the tape of Mayas session with Esterson: with someone who has experienced such suffering, when they are able to speak freely, their voice resonates in ones own body.

Your seminars represent one of the very few areas of serious research into psychoanalysis that exist nowadays.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 205. Hilary Mantel and Anthony Stadlen conducted: Laing & Esterson. Sanity, Madness and the Family. 1. Maya Abbott and the Abbotts. 50 years on. (Durrants, Sunday 6 July 2014)

From Todd DuBose, Associate Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (8 May 2014):

I would love to attend* were I anywhere close to London. I did order the book. I suggest you pull these historical studies together in a book. It is so important to hear history we would prefer not to hear...thank you for your courage to shine a light on such matters.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 203. Anthony Stadlen conducted a discussion on Carole Seymour-Joness A Dangerous Liaison: Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (Oakleigh, Sunday 18 May 2014)

Distinguished Professor Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd
From Brian Boyd, Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Nabokov biographer and scholar (4 April 2014):

Now this* is one I would like to attend—if I weren’t 12,000 miles away!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 202. Anthony Stadlen conducted: SanityMadness and Shakespeare (Oakleigh, Sunday 27 April 2014)

From Angela Buxton, existential psychotherapist (16 February 2014):

To Anthony
Many congratulations on the occasion of the 200th Inner Circle Seminar*
With grateful thanks for all the seeds sown by these seminars over the years.
Best wishes for the next 200!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 200. Susannah Wilson conducted: Locked Up:  Patients and their Gaolers. 12. Hersilie Rouy (Oakleigh, Sunday 16 February 2014)

From Helen Brice, existential psychotherapist in private practice and at The Priory (14 February 2014):

I do think your seminars are extraordinarily stimulating and a really important part of my CPD.

From Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (10 February 2014):

Congratulations, Tony, on your 200th session*, and such a wonderful one at that!
Cyber hugs,

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 200. Susannah Wilson conducted: Locked Up:  Patients and their Gaolers. 12. Hersilie Rouy (Oakleigh, Sunday 16 February 2014)

From Jeffrey Schaler, author of Addiction is a Choice; Professor, Department of Justice, Law and Society, School of Public Affairs, American University, Washington, D.C. (10 February 2014):

Congratulations on your 200th seminar* birthday!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 200. Susannah Wilson conducted: Locked Up:  Patients and their Gaolers. 12. Hersilie Rouy (Oakleigh, Sunday 16 February 2014)

From Gitta Henning, Helsinki, researcher on Sibelius family (28 November 2013):

I am always following the seminars you arrange and wish very hard I could be personally there and listen. The themes are so interesting and I liked the atmosphere at the Linda Sibelius* so very much.

I am still writing / trying to write the Linda book and am rather well on my way but there is such a lot of material – it is immense – and my knowledge grows but not always the pages! I understand that is quite a common problem but I ‘sometimes’ feel rather overwhelmed... And then to find an eventual publisher....

One thing is quite clear, Linda was a fantastic woman in her own right and I am happy I got to know her. I still hear about and I see her being coldly left out of the Sibelius sibling trio or just put aside as being sort of unmentionable. But there was a half hour radioprogram about her just this week, grounded on my studies and findings and it also had me talking a bit. It was very well done and seems to have worked well judging on the few but very positive reactions I got!

But it is hard work and I hope I will be able to keep it (and me) up. I clap my teeth together and work on!

My warmest regards to you and Naomi. I recall my visit to London and the seminar* and both of you with very warm feelings.


*Inner Circle Seminar No. 170. Gitta Henning conducted: Locked Up: Patients and their Gaolers. 5. Linda Sibelius (Durrants, Sunday 27 November 2011)

From Alison R. Noyes, former solicitor and teacher of English literature (8 November 2013):

Alison Noyes
I thought it* would be in your home given that most  ‘psycho’ people will be elsewhere, misleading themselves!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 197. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Existential Pioneers. 16. Jane Austen. (Oakleigh, Sunday 17 November 2013

From Andy Salt, philosopher, Wu-style Tai Chi instructor (7 November 2013):
Andy Salt

I am quite the hermit really, and I’ve ventured out into mainstream society for about 10 minutes and found your prediction, when you introduced Tallis*, that, ‘Within a decade the whole world will be taken over by Neuroscience,’ to be coming true rather faster than you anticipated!

The Seminars are an island of reality in an ocean of shite!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 184. Raymond Tallis conducted: The Intellectual Plague of Biologism. (Durrants, Sunday 2 December 2012)

Roger Frie
From Professor Roger Frie, Simon Fraser University / University of British Columbia (23 October 2013): 

... we share many of the same interests and I wish I could attend the seminars you organize!

Dr Alice von Hildebrand
receiving on 30 October 2013
 the title conferred on her by Pope Francis of
 Lady Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order
of Saint Gregory
From Dr Alice von Hildebrand, philosopher, widow of Dietrich von Hildebrand (22 October 2013):

Every time you sent me the program of your next ‘meeting’, I deeply regret that I cannot be present. They all address topics of crucial importance...

There will be a celebration in NY on the 30th for my 90th birthday (last March!!) Sorry you are so far away.

Grateful that God has placed you on my path. With many warm greetings.


From Professor James Hopkins, Reader Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, King's College, University of London (21 October 2013):
Professor James Hopkins

Just to say what a pleasure it was to meet you and Naomi yesterday and how much I enjoyed our discussion*.  It is good to know that such a conceptual and scholarly resource is (literally) so close to home.
All best wishes, 

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 196. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Frank Cioffi: Was Freud a Liar? (20 October 1973): A 40th-anniversary re-reading.  (Oakleigh,Sunday 20 October 2013)

From Professor Han Israëls, Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Maastricht, Netherlands (7 October 2013):

Good that you organize a seminar* on this article! Also my thinking on Freud was profoundly influenced by this article. Not immediately after reading it. But after that you, in Amsterdam, walking in the neighbourhood of Paradiso, once explained to me why this article was so important, and then I reread the article and saw that you were right. So in 1985 I already had my own private seminar with you on ‘Was Freud a Liar?’ Keep up the good work!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 196. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Frank Cioffi: Was Freud a Liar? (20 October 1973): A 40th-anniversary re-reading.  (Oakleigh, Sunday 20 October 2013)

From Jamesylvester Urama, student of existential psychotherapy and existential coaching, Regent’s University and New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, London (21 September 2013) 

James-Sylvester Urama
I had a taste of Anthony Stadlen’s critical and analytico-historical work. I was touched to the core of my being.

Dror Green

From Dr Dror Green, psychotherapist, Director of Institute of Emotional Training, Dvorishte village, Kyustendil region, Bulgaria (17 September 2013):

I always admire the way you keep running your seminars. 

From Karin Weisensel, psychotherapist (16 September 2013):

Arthur Jonathan      Karin Weisensel      Anthony Stadlen
after Inner Seminar Circle Seminar No. 194
Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning:
Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé
conducted by Anthony Stadlen (with the help of Karin Weisensel)
 Oakleigh, Sunday 15 September 2013
It was a lovely group with interesting conversations.
Your chosen format to conduct the seminar* without much of an agenda or structure reminded me of a therapy session...
Your knowledge on existential thinkers and Freud is impressive beyond words. I feel truly inspired again and I shall continue researching my theory that Lou was an existential thinker. Thanks for bringing her back into my life!!!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 194. Anthony Stadlen (with the help of Karin Weisensel) conducted: Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning: Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé. (Oakleigh, Sunday 15 September 2013)

From Michael Whan, Jungian analyst (15 September 2013):

Thanks for an interesting seminar*. I left with lots to reflect on, finding what was said over the day very useful.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 194. Anthony Stadlen (with the help of Karin Weisensel) conducted: Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning: Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé. (Oakleigh, 15 September 2013)

Sander L. Gilman
From Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University (28 August 2013):

What a wonderful topic!*  Unvergänglich!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 194. Anthony Stadlen (with the help of Karin Weisensel) conducted: Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning: Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé. (Oakleigh, Sunday 15 September 2013)

From Todd DuBose, Associate Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (28 August 2013):

Todd DuBose

This sounds fantastic my friend! I wish I were in London. All my best with this presentation*, and my best to you and Naomi.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 194. Anthony Stadlen (with the help of Karin Weisensel) conducted: Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning: Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé. (Oakleigh, Sunday 15 September 2013)

From Digby Tantam, Clinical Professor of Psychotherapy at the University of Sheffield (28 August 2013):
Digby Tantam

As usual, a fascinating seminar* described in a beautiful way.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 194. Anthony Stadlen (with the help of Karin Weisensel) conducted: Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning: Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé. (Oakleigh, Sunday 15 September 2013)

From Andy Salt, philosopher, Wu-style Tai Chi instructor (19 June 2013):

The Sartre seminar* was fantastic.

The idea that reaching Nirvana is to return to Nirvana is a Mahayana idea. Interestingly the Theravada school seems to be more devoted to descriptions of the afflictions and methods for overcoming them. It does have a cosmology and an ontology although this isn’t as developed as Mahayana schools.

The difficulties that we were discussing are investigated at length in Mahayana texts put simply if Nirvana, Being, or God is perfection and that exists prior to the manifest, samsara, afflictions etc then how does the imperfect come out of the perfect doctrinal discussions can approximate the Christian fall here, in the Lotus Sutra beings are described as having been seduced by pleasure into a burning house (the world) Buddha is calling them out.

My thoughts are that every religion / method is temporal until the last step (maybe) where realization is instant; the struggles in the ‘temporal’ phase might well approximate the descriptions of empirical psychology - this is what I meant some months ago by my remark that ‘psychology is a catalog of errors’ all description of mental objects must be incorrect if the truth is emptiness or void. Buddhism recognizes this when, ultimately even the teaching has to be rejected, like a raft that has been used to cross a river, and is no longer needed now one has reached the shore.

It is certainly great to be involved in seminars where this can be discussed without dogma many Buddhists are as guilty of just believing in things as anyone else but the truth is born of argument!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 192. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Existential Pioneers. 14. Jean-Paul Sartre: Being and Nothingness 70 years on. (Durrants, Sunday 16 June 2013)
Ernst Falzeder
From Ernst Falzeder, psychotherapist, researcher, editor, translator (16 May 2013):

Many thanks for inviting me, and for an interesting and lively seminar*, not least through your own contributions!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 191. Ernst Falzeder conducted: A Psychiatric Conspiracy against Psychoanalysis. The 1913 Breslau Congress of German Psychiatrists. (Oakleigh, Sunday 12 May 2013)

From Titos Florides, trainee existential psychotherapist (24 April 2013):

I attended the seminar* on Søren Kierkegaard conducted by Daphne Hampson and Anthony Stadlen.  I have previously spent some months studying Kierkegaard as part of my professional training, but I was surprised how this seminar enhanced my understanding of key philosophical concepts in such a short period of time.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 190. Daphne Hampson and Anthony Stadlen conducted: Existential Pioneers. 13. Kierkegaard. His concepts of ‘dread’ and  ‘despair’. (Durrants, Sunday 21 April 2013)

From Alison R. Noyes, former solicitor and teacher of English literature (12 February 2013):

Last Sunday’s seminar* was a real pleasure. Allan Ingram’s warm, relaxed, intelligent, and in-depth exposition of Alexander Cruden, and the relationship of language and ‘madness’, was enjoyable and illuminating. The resulting discussion was cohesive and rewarding. Thank you everyone for a great day!

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 187. Allan Ingram conducted: Locked Up:  ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers. 10. Alexander Cruden. (Oakleigh, Sunday 10 February 2013 

‘I can feel the rings’
Ginnie Lawlor (Ru, left), Marcia Karp (Vi, centre), Angela Buxton (Flo, right)
in the final scene from Samuel Becketts ‘dramaticule’ Come and Go (1967)
In 1967, Murray Bowen gave his epochmaking talk, to family therapists and researchers, about his attempt to ‘differentiate a self in his own extended family. Beckett’s entire short play Come and Go (1967), published in the year that Bowen gave his talk, was performed within the seminar* and discussed in terms of Bowen’s theory of ‘triangulation’.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 186. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Existential Pioneers. !2. ‘Anonymous’ (Murray Bowen). (Oakleigh, Sunday 27 January 2013)

From Duncan Double, Critical Psychiatrist, Lowestoft, Suffolk (23 December 2012):

Don’t be taken in by neuropsychoanalysis ... Oh dear! ... a past chair of the Faculty of Psychotherapy of the Royal College of Psychiatrists [my old friend Dr Jeremy Holmes, who worked with me when we were both social therapists in David Cooper’s notorious antihospital’, Villa 21, Shenley Hospital in 1965-6. Anthony Stadlen] confirms he’s been taken in by neuropsychoanalysis ... He doesn’t mention the case against neuropsychoanalysis (e.g. Blass and Carmeli, 2007). I had my own views confirmed in person recently by attending a seminar* by Rachel Blass organised by Anthony Stadlen.... I think it’s a shame to see the history of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy being given up to modern neuromania.

*Inner Circle Seminar No. 183. Rachel Blass conducted: Neuropsychoanalysis’ – and how it perverts the essence of psychoanalysis. (Durrants, Sunday 4 November, 2012) 

From Raymond Tallis, author, poet, philosopher, former Professor of Geriatric Medicine (3 December 2012):

Raymond Tallis
Dear Tony,

It was an enormous pleasure to meet you and Naomi over the weekend. You looked after me absolutely wonderfully. In fact, I don’t think I have ever been looked after so well as a speaker. I loved our conversations and a deux and a trois. And it’s wonderful to have a souvenir in the form of Naomi’s How Mothers Love (which my wife Terry has taken from me so I don’t think I am going to get a look in until she has finished reading it!).

The seminar* was for me an incredible experience. I have never previously had the opportunity to discuss the topics we covered in such depth with a group of people who came at it from such different angles but in a way that I found illuminating. I learned a lot. It was a tremendous privilege.

And thank you also for being so prompt in payment. I particularly appreciate this as I am my own secretary and I seem to spend more time chasing up expenses etc than thinking or writing books.

I am very much looking forward to continuing our conversation. Next time it’s on me – in the Athenaeum.

In the meantime, thank you for an unforgettable weekend.

Kindest regards,


*Inner Circle Seminar No. 184. Raymond Tallis conducted: The Intellectual Plague of Biologism. (Durrants, Sunday 2 December 2012)

From Hugh Hetherington, existential psychotherapist (3 December 2012):

Hugh Hetherington
... how very much I enjoyed the Inner Circle Seminar* you organised with Raymond Tallis as guest speaker.

It really was a most stimulating day – Professor Tallis has, if anything, risen in my estimation. His writing has always been such a refreshing antidote to some of the current (and worryingly prevalent) reductionism and nonsense; but meeting him in the flesh added an extra dimension of humanity, as well as a humility and a sincerity which I found very appealing. So often I have walked away from ‘CPD’ events feeling a fatigue and ennui born partly, I feel sure, out of the impotence of hearing ideas which are inadequate, incomplete or false and which one could not even begin to respond to, so great is the apparent gap in understanding. Yesterday, by contrast, I left – after a day long in hours, too short in other ways – feeling invigorated. All the other participants seemed interesting and pleasant and the tone set by you and Professor Tallis was just right.

Thank you again for what you provided.

Best wishes,


*Inner Circle Seminar No. 184. Raymond Tallis conducted: The Intellectual Plague of Biologism. (Durrants, Sunday 2 December 2012)

From Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (21 October 2012): 
Alessandra Comini

LOVE the subject matter of these two brave seminars!* Have sent it on to several physicians and scientists I know.

YOU are creatively REMARKABLE, Tony.

Cyber hugs,


*Inner Circle Seminar No. 183. Rachel Blass conducted: Neuropsychoanalysis’ – and how it perverts the essence of psychoanalysis. (Durrants, Sunday 4 November, 2012)
Inner Circle Seminar No. 184. Raymond Tallis conducted: The Intellectual Plague of Biologism. (Durrants, Sunday 2 December 2012)

From Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (14 October 2012):

Wow, Tony, dem’s strong words. I’ve read them twice now.

Kudos to you for your cogent write-up and for reaching out to these two important speakers.*

Hugs from far away Texas,


*Inner Circle Seminar No. 183. Rachel Blass conducted: Neuropsychoanalysis’ – and how it perverts the essence of psychoanalysis. (Durrants, Sunday 4 November, 2012
Inner Circle Seminar No. 184. Raymond Tallis conducted: The Intellectual Plague of Biologism. (Durrants, Sunday 2 December 2012

Pope Benedict XVI       Alice von Hildebrand

From Alice von Hildebrand, philosopher, widow of Dietrich von Hildebrand (13 October 2012):

Dear Anthony, What you are doing is a MISSION: to open people’s eyes to tremendous dangers, cleverly covered by the words ‘scientific’ or ‘research’.

Many greetings, Lily (yesterday was my husband’s birthday and the one of Edith Stein)

From Dr Frank Schiphorst, psychotherapist, den Haag (25 September 2012):

Thank you again, for a breath of fresh air in rainy London.

Your impressively thorough and careful investigation into the early history of Freud’s thinking reminded me of the ‘good old days’.

The thrill and pleasure of meeting with people, like yourself, who share a passion for searching ‘the truth’ in history’s haystack.

Whether it concerns the truth about Freud or the truth about the people we meet professionally, the search for truth (like for ‘beauty’ and for ‘good’) is what matters.

From Diana Mitchell, existential psychotherapist (13 September 2012):

Diana Mitchell
I have just heard the sad news that Thomas Szasz died and I thought of you straight away because of your friendship and admiration for who he was and what he stood for.

I am sure that his spirit will continue via your Inner Circle Seminars.

From Digby Tantam, Professor of Psychotherapy and Co-director of the Centre for the Study of Conflict and Reconciliation, University of Sheffield (29 August 2012):

... what a fascinating synopsis.

From Jeffrey Schaler, author of Addiction is a Choice; Professor, Department of Justice, Law and Society, School of Public Affairs, American University, Washington, D.C. (28 July 2012):

I remember the seminar very well, and with fond memories. Your group gave me the longest applause I have ever received. I was very moved, still am.

From Richard Swynnerton, existential psychotherapist (9 July 2012):

Thanks once again for a very interesting and thought provoking seminar yesterday... I look forward to catching up with you again at another seminar in the near future.

From James K. Wright, Ph.D., composer; Associate Professor and Supervisor of Performance Studies, School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music, Carleton University, Ottawa (9 July 2012):

Wonderful to hear about the opening concert at the Beethoven Festival, Anthony Stadlen’s seminar, Susan Lund’s Passion, and Edward Walden’s presentation to Barry Cooper’s Manchester Beethoven Conference. The bicentenary of the letter(s) will also be given some attention here in Ottawa, Canada, on the evening of July 27, with a performance of my recently-completed chamber art song cycle, titled Briefe an die unsterbliche Geliebte, by mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah and the Gryphon Trio, at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (‘Chamberfest’: The texts I have set in this three-movement work are excerpts from Beethoven’s letters. 

From Angela Buxton, existential psychotherapist (9 July 2012):

Thank you very much for another excellent seminar. I like the seminars at your house. The atmosphere is quite different – somehow more contemplative and quiet.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (26 June 2012):

I am delighted about the success of the Hegel and Claudel seminars. Some day psychiatric incarceration will become a valued subject in history. 

From Professor Todd DuBose, existential (daseinsanalytic) psychotherapist, Associate Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (21 June 2012):

You continue to provide such rich experiences in the Circle.

From Giacomo Conserva, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Parma, Italy (21 June 2012):

Giacomo Conserva

I’d really love to be there! (In fact I’ll be on the road to Grado, near Trieste, on July 1st...)

From Geraldine, trainee Jungian psychotherapist (18 June 2012):

Thank you so much for a great day on Sunday. It is good to know small groups are doing such significant work, asking key questions, sharing and listening from diverse disciplines.

It was such a valuable experience.

Catriona May

From Catriona May, existential psychotherapist, editor of Hermeneutic Circular (13 June 2012):

They are fascinating seminars: Anthony, who runs them, is a superb facilitator, and discussion is always vibrant and accessible.

From Alexandra Birkert, historian in Stuttgart, author of Hegels Schwester: Auf den Spuren einer ungewöhnlichen Frau (4 June 2012):

... auch ich möchte mich noch einmal für die Einladung und den hoch interessanten Gesprächszirkel bedanken. Ich habe sehr davon profitiert und bewundere die Art, wie Sie die Seminarreihe inhaltlich, aber auch ganz persönlich gestalten und – ganz unmerklich – in gute Bahnen lenken. Vielen, vielen Dank meinerseits an Sie und an Ihre liebe Frau, auch für die komfortable Betreuung darum herum, das gemütliche Abendessen und das feine Frühstück und die Taxi-Dienste!

From Dr Jiří Růžička, clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, rector of Prague College of Psycho-Social Studies (29 May 2012):

Hi Tony!
Nice to hear of you from period to period!                 
I admire your devotion to your topics really much. We might meet in Budapest I suppose!

From Andy Salt, philosophy student and Tai Chi instructor (23 April 2012):

I thought the seminar was the most disturbing ‘intellectual’ event I have been involved in.

From Valerie Sinason, psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, poet, writer (16 April 2012):

Hi from South Africa, dear Anthony, and so sorry to be missing this crucial seminar. As you can imagine, in my disability work I have interviewed many disabled people in Germany who saw their friends and relatives taken off to be gassed. Congratulations again on your superb series. Please note that even for people who can’t make it they are still inspiring to read and know about. X


From Angela Buxton, existential psychotherapist (2 April 2012):

Many thanks for another excellent seminar. This one has shaken to its foundations the way I think about Freud and his writings. I found Prof. Rudnytsky’s work particularly convincing because it fits so well with what I hear when I work phenomenologically with clients who were abused as children.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (1 April 2012):

Thanks. I wish I could be there (a chronic condition). What a program!
Love, Tom.

From David M. Abrams, Ph. D., Psychoanalyst, New York (3 March 2012) 

Your prodigious erudition and outstanding teaching are similarly impressive [to Szasz’s]. I remember George Bernard Shaw said that most men have a single idea in their 20s, and spend the rest of their lives defending it.

The seminars you organize and teach are like an entire post-graduate training institute here in New York City.  We should have a New York City branch to get you to give them here as well (in your spare time).

Dr Elena Manafi
From Dr Elena Manafi, Programme Director, DCounsPsy at School of Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology at Regents College, London (2 March 2012):

Just dropping a line to let you know that I much appreciate your commitment to these seminars which I always forward to all my trainees at Regents.

From Andy Salt, philosophy student (27 February 2012):

... thinking again of Zeeman’s inspiring seminar, if it wasn’t for characters like him academia would be irredeemable ...

From Marja-Liisa Siirala, speech therapist in Helinki, daughter of Martti Siirala (24 February 2012):

Marja-Liisa Siirala
I want to send you this CD as a memory of the wonderful seminar for my father last year in London. His grandson Antti plays the piano-part.

From Alison R. Noyes, former solicitor and teacher of English literature (22 February 2012):

The seminar was great.  Carole Seymour-Jones came across as a really honest broker as well as very warm and interesting.  Thank you for introducing biography as a way of looking properly at people.

Carole Seymour-Jones
From Carole Seymour-Jones, existential psychotherapist, author of Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot, first wife of T.S. Eliot (20 February 2012):

Yesterday was a most stimulating and enjoyable day, and I want to thank you for asking me to speak at the seminar on Vivienne Eliot. I was honoured to be included in your ‘locked-up’ series, and hope the participants felt it was as valuable as I did. For me, it was particularly interesting to hear the contributions from the TS Eliot Society members, fortunately not as hostile as I had feared.

From John Bridgen, member of T. S. Eliot Society (20 February 2012):

Thank you very much indeed for yesterday’s absolutely marvellous seminar. And thank you so much for your note on Eliot’s ‘conversion’. I am deeply grateful to you for inviting me to the seminar and to Carole for her absolutely wonderful talk. Anglo-Catholicism also of course put a very strong emphasis on the dogma of the Incarnation hence the theological framework for Eliot’s ‘intersection of the timeless with time’ and a ‘pattern of timeless moments’.

From Dr Felix Yaroshevsky M.D., C.R.C.P.(C) (Д-р Феликс Юльевич Ярошевский), psychotherapist, Toronto (15 February 2012):

Dr Felix Yaroshevsky

Find your activities very useful.

From Alison R. Noyes, former solicitor and teacher of English literature (25 January 2012):

I was introduced to the writing of Professor Szasz in 1980 and have found his ideas, insights, and clarity of immense value on my journey through life since then. For some reason I found it easy to grasp his core premise that “mental illness” is a myth, a “logical category error”, and that people can help the way they live and die – and I have held on to that principle in the way I behave with others and how I deal with the way they deal with me. (I don’t always behave very well but at least I don’t muddle the principle!) I find it less easy to convey it to other people and therefore find these seminars on Prof. Szasz very helpful. I think part of the reason his ideas can be hard to explain is that his message is so simple it baffles (and sometimes he does make the mistake of not explaining quite fully enough); like the best poetry it defies translation. Further, it is hard to persuade people to discuss the matter under the heading of Being Human while they are very busy trying to persuade you to continue to discuss it under the heading of Medicine!

Benjy                Jeffrey Masson

From Jeffrey Masson, former Professor of Sanskrit, former psychoanalyst, author of The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory and many other books (24 January 2012):

You have the most fascinating topics!

From Professor Thomas Szasz (24 January 2012):

What historical-intellectual riches! Beautiful. Thanks.

Thomas Szasz
at his 90th-birthday seminar
Inner Circle Seminar No. 153
London, Sunday 10 June 2010
photograph copyright 

From Marcia Karp, psychotherapist, psychodramatist (22 January 2012):

Thanks for today. Great co-creation. Please tell T. Szasz that he has given us the courage to live and die as we choose.

Angela Buxton

From Angela Buxton, existential psychotherapist (22 January 2012):

Thank you very much for another excellent seminar. I would like Professor Szasz to know that I have found his books to be invaluable in helping me to understand my work as a psychotherapist. His books are very clear and the message is simple but revolutionary in our societal context. His ideas have far-reaching implications and have influenced the way I see the world and therefore my work with clients. I think I have been of much greater assistance to my clients through assuming there is no mental illness than I would have been had I accepted the conventional ‘wisdom’. My understanding of his message has been improved and refined during the last few years through my attendance at all eleven of this sub-set of seminars. Although Professor Szasz has written many books with the same central message, I have found each one has brought different learning and has helped me to grasp the central ideas. His latest book that we discussed today is a model of clarity and an important work. In short, the work of Professor Szasz is inspirational to me and your seminars have been instrumental in motivating me to read all the books and providing a forum for dialogue which has helped me to further refine my understanding of the ideas.

From Andreas Rössl (16 January 2012):

Dear SIR [!!!] Anthony STADLEN!

Some years ago I was in a crisis because I was divorced and the school of austria sent me to rent (2 Nazi-Hools had a problem with me!) - against my own will. I can unterstand the problems of people, who see only one way: The death by their own hand.

But I do not have the money to fly to London and visit your very interesting seminar - for sure not!

But there will come a time, when the world and europe is growing together and your great little seminar will be in Vienna some times. And then it willl be a really great plesure for me to visit you and speak with you about philosophical-theological themes like this on:


Greetings! Andreas RÖSSL

Marcia Karp

From Marcia Karp, psychotherapist, psychodramatist, (2 January 2012):

It is the only forum I know where like and unlike minded people, in a small group, discuss in a philosophical, psycho-therapeutic, theoretical, practical and human way. An inspiring and stimulating way to think and doubt together.

From Dr Jiří Růžička, clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, rector of Prague College of Psycho-Social Studies (2 January 2012):

I would like to wish you all the best with New Year.

I hope you will still have so much of enthusiasm, as you had until now.

From Dr Alice von Hildebrand, philosopher, widow of Dietrich von Hildebrand (13 December 2011):

You know that I regret missing every one of the [seminars] you organized. Alas, it just cannot be done... Continue your great work. In friendship.

Thomas Szasz

From Professor Thomas Szasz (12 December 2011):

Fabulous program. Congratulations. Where else in the world do ‘students’ have access to this information? Nowhere.

From Michaël Lévinas, composer and pianist, son of philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas (8 December 2011):

Votre message me touche et je fais tous mes voeux pour le succès de cette journée consacrée à Totalité et infini.

Michaël Lévinas
La référence à Xenakis se trouve dans Autrement qu’Être: ‘le rouge rougeoie comme le violoncelle violoncellise’ dans Nomos alpha...
J’espère vous rencontrer un jour.

From John Grimshaw, member of UK Sibelius Society  (6 December 2011):

Just adding my thanks and appreciation for my participation in the seminar on Linda Sibelius. I found it quite fascinating, the presentation and the free discussion. So much food for thought.

From Dr Mette Lebech, philosopher, President of the International Association for the Study of the Philosophy of Edith Stein (5 December 2011):

Mette Lebech

It was lovely to be with your group, and I will keep fond memories of meeting them all...

From Gitta Henning, Helsinki, researcher on Sibelius family (4 December 2011):

Gitta Henning
Many warm thoughts to you and Naomi. I will never ever forget the wonderful atmosphere in that seminar room!

From Edward Clark, President of UK Sibelius Society (30 November 2011):

Gitta gave a riveting presentation...

From Gitta Henning, Helsinki, researcher on Sibelius family (29 November 2011):

THANK YOU for this wonderful opportunity you gave me to bring forth Linda. Sunday was unforgettable and so interesting!...This short visit to London was a GREAT and LOVELY experience for me!

From Sarah Young, existential psychotherapist,  Visiting Lecturer at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling and the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at Regent’s College, London (11 October 2011):

Thank you for a very interesting and informative day – please pass on my thanks and appreciation to Mette, she had such a lovely way of sharing incredibly complex ideas – I am in awe of her ability to make accessible and concrete appallingly difficult and abstract thinking.

From Dr Alice von Hildebrand, philosopher, widow of Dietrich von Hildebrand (4 October 2011, a message for participants in Inner Circle Seminar No. 167, ‘Existential Pioneers. 8. Edith Stein. On the Problem of Empathy’, 9 October 2011):

Just a line from Psalm 144* which I love especially:

God is close to all those who invoke him, those who invoke him in truth.

The very word ‘truth’ should make our hearts beat faster. Both Dietrich von Hildebrand and Edith Stein were great lovers of truth.

[* 145 in the Hebrew Bible (144 in the Catholic Bible), verse 18]

From Margaret Lambert, psychotherapist and counsellor (29 July 2011):

Another wonderful seminar... The seminars ... are unique and incredible opportunities to learn.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (28 July 2011):

You should be proud of your achievements. You built the seminars into events speakers feel honored to be invited to.

Alfried Längle                     Silvia Längle 
From Dr Alfried Längle, Vienna, colleague of Viktor Frankl (27 July 2011):

I want to congratulate you for your interesting series of seminars. This is good culture … (we do not have such an institution in German-speaking countries).

From Carlos Eduardo C. Freire,  Associação Brasileira de Daseinsanalyse (23 June 2011):

Hope to hear from you that this Seminar will be published soon.

From Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (14 June 2011):


Han Israëls
From Professor Han Israëls, Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Maastricht, Netherlands (7 June 2011):

Yesterday evening we came back in Maastricht after a very pleasant visit to London. Especially pleasant for me because of the seminar. Thanks for organizing it!

From Dr Morton Schatzman (speaking at Inner Circle Seminar No. 164, ‘Locked Up: “Patients” and their Gaolers. 3. Schreber and Freud: A Double Legacy’, 5 June 2011):

Morton Schatzman
First, I want to say that it’s 100 years since Schreber wrote his Memoirs and it’s 40 years since I first started publishing on the subject. It was 1971, and I think I would not have done this, come here today, it was so long ago in my life, all of my Schreber stuff is up at the top shelf of a room with a very high wall which you have to go up a ladder actually to bring down all these books, and they’re next to other relics and mementos from my twenties and my adolescence, so I regard all this as from a previous period of my life, and I wouldn’t have done it if it were not for the esteem and admiration I have for Anthony, who has been, as he says, doing this for the 164th time. I have long regarded what you do as unique, and I have the greatest admiration for your doing these seminars which, unlike virtually all the seminars I’ve ever been to in the field of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, actually are truly academic and intellectual and try to look at things from multiple points of view. You are not creating a cult. You are not participating in a cult. You are actually having open academic inquiry, and I want to say how grateful I am that this goes on. And it’s why I came... 

From Professor Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (7 April 2011):


Bravo to you for obtaining [Kate Millett’s] participation!

From Dr Erik Craig, Daseinsanalyst, Director of Research in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California (7 April 2011):
Erik Craig

These are such wonderful opportunities. What a fine institution you have created. If I lived on the grand isle, I’d be there for every one of the seminars.

From Laura Barnett, existential psychotherapist, author and editor (13 March 2011):
Laura Barnett

I was delighted to have had the opportunity to hear and meet Bukovsky, thank you for organising this.
From Dr Dror Green, psychotherapist, Bulgaria (13 March 2011):

I am always impressed by your ongoing project.

From Anna Stewart (14 February 2011):

I very much enjoyed the seminar on Martti Siiralas life and work and have found the readings moving and enlightening.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (3 February 2011):

We are hopelessly in agreement.

From Clancy Sigal, novelist (25 November 2010):

Laing’s ‘definition of madness’ was anyone who wouldnt drink with him.  

Anthony Stadlen and Thomas Szasz
at Szasz’s 90th-birthday seminar
Inner Circle Seminar No. 153
13 June 2010
Photograph copyright

From Professor Thomas Szasz (at his 90th-birthday seminar, 13 June 2010):

I can’t praise the seminars too highly. They are organised rebellions without any rebelliousness: teaching people to think straight where they are enjoined to think crooked.

From Dr Havi Hannah Carel, philosopher (2 June 2010):

Havi Hannah Carel
Thanks again for your kind invitation to participate in the seminar. It was hugely valuable for me.

Lawrence Goldie
From Dr Lawrence Goldie, psychoanalyst, author of Psychotherapy and the Treatment of Cancer Patients: Bearing Cancer in Mind (17 May 2010):

It was a great pleasure meeting you and I enjoyed the group who were so kind and engaged.

From Dr Havi Hannah Carel, philosopher (17 May 2010):

I haven’t done this before and I enjoyed the opportunity to speak of myself without hiding behind a mask of ‘objectivity’, as I often do with philosophers. It was a really inspiring session.

From Dr Jack Newman, paediatrician, Director of Newman Breastfeeding Clinic and Institute, Toronto (10 May 2010):

I just wanted to thank you for a very nice time in London Saturday and Sunday and for driving me up to wherever I am.

Jack Newman
It was great meeting you, participating in the seminar, and hope to meet you again soon, here or in Canada.

From Claire Harris (10 May 2010):

I just wanted to thank you and Naomi for making it possible for so many mothers and babies to attend such a wonderful seminar. It looked as if everyone present had had a truly enriching day.

It’s not often in life that one gets to meet a personal hero, and even less often that they don’t disappoint.

From Anne-Marie Martin (9 May 2010):

Thank you very much for such an enjoyable seminar, the discussion was very thought provoking and it was fantastic to see so many babies enjoying themselves so much!

I’m looking forward to next week’s seminar.

Mothers and babies
at Inner Circle Seminar No. 151
‘The Medicalising of Motherhood
Photograph by Dr Jack Newman
Sunday 9 May 2010

From Licia Martin (9 May 2010):

Thank you for a lovely day. I very much enjoyed today’s seminar, learning from both presenters and attendees. And I found it to be a warm and friendly atmosphere with mothers and their babies throughout the room. A very good experience all around.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (6 April 2010):

Congratulations. Your seminars are nothing less than a kind of super-university addressing the history, literature, and professionalization-regulation of ‘problems in living.’ An amazing achievement.

From Marcia Karp, psychotherapist, psychodramatist (16 March 2010):

Fascinating day on Sunday. After 38 years in England I feel I have finally landed in some discussion where I feel intellectually at home. What a relief. Isn’t that a sad statement? Anyway, thanks.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (15 March 2010): 

Many thanks for your report about the Anti-P seminar*. Once again, your account is so vivid it almost makes me feel as if I had been there.

* Inner Circle Seminar No. 150. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Thomas Szasz in the 21st Century. 10. Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared (2009). (Durrants, 14 March 2010)

From Dr Jeremy Holmes, consultant psychiatrist, psychoanalytic psychotherapist (11 March 2010):
Jeremy Holmes

The website is extremely impressive, and looks totally fascinating. I feel rather ashamed that I had not got onto them before. Have you transcripts of the discussions? I would have thought some of them would make a marvellous book.

From David M. Abrams, PhD, Psychoanalyst, New York (7 March 2010):

Your prodigious erudition and outstanding teaching are ... impressive. ... The seminars you organize and teach are like an entire post graduate training institute here in New York City. We should have a New York City branch to get you to give them here as well (in your spare time).

From Professor Geoffrey Blowers, Hong Kong (24 November 2009):

I found the entire day very stimulating and thought provoking and was very impressed by your own erudition on so many related matters. I only regret I am not able to attend your seminars on a more regular basis. But if you give some thought to coming to Hong Kong ... please know I would be very happy to host your visit.

Alice Holzhey-Kunz

From Dr Alice Holzhey-Kunz, Daseinsanalyst (8 March 2009):

Ich selber habe sehr gute Erinnerungen an das Wochenende im letzten September und auch von Uta habe ich nur Gutes über das Traum-Seminar gehört.

Salomé Hangartner with the Dalai Lama
From Salomé Hangartner (22 January 2009):

I hope to join you on some other occasion again since the seminar on December 7 was most enriching for me.

From Dr Uta Jaenicke, Daseinsanalyst (15 December 2008):

It was such a good experience participating in your Inner Circle – hopefully you can go on with it well at the new place. I enjoyed this opportunity to be together with Hansjörg – who is an old friend of mine, and with Marianne and Tamas, whom I got to know better. And I enjoyed very much meeting you and your wife on a more personal basis.

So thank you again for this opportunity!

From Dr Hansjörg Reck, Daseinsanalyst (11 December 2008):

The whole London days are in best remembrance: first of all the seminar, for which organisation I wish to thank Anthony once more very much.

From Dr Marianne Jaccard, Daseinsanalyst (11 December 2008):

I would like to thank you again for your generous hospitality and for organizing this very stimulating and rewarding seminar. It was a great pleasure to meet you. I hope that you will host many more Inner Circle Seminars and that they will be as appreciated as they deserve to be.

From Dr Frank Schiphorst, psychotherapist, den Haag (24 November 2008):

Your work, for 12 years now, with the Inner Circle Seminars has always been an inspiration for me...

Jeffrey Schaler

From Jeffrey Schaler, author of Addiction is a Choice; Professor, Department of Justice, Law and Society, School of Public Affairs, American University, Washington, D.C.  (13 October 2008):

Thanks so much for your warm hospitality and for taking care of me generally. It was an honor to speak at your seminar series… The students and participants were really very attentive and gracious. I am still touched by that rare spontaneous applause, a first and probably last!

From Professor Emmy van Deurzen (31 August 2008):


Emmy van Deurzen
From Professor Thomas Szasz (10 August 2008):

It gets better and better. I wish I could be the proverbial fly on the wall for every one of the seminars.

From Professor Phyllis Roth, former Chair of English Department, Dean, and interim President, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY  (29 May 2008):

Phyllis Roth

The whole experience for me was far more that of learning, really, than of my sharing – which was of course especially wonderful for me.

From Lucia Moja-Strasser, existential psychotherapist (23 May 2008):
Lucia Moja-Strasser

...your seminars are a labour of love and you are and have been contributing so much over the years to the ‘Existential Cause’. I do admire and respect you for that...

Carry on your wonderful work...

From Professor Thomas Szasz (12 May 2008):

I have a suggestion for a title for the Seminars: Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness.

Todd DuBose

From Professor Peter L. Rudnytsky, Professor of English, University of Florida (8 January 2008):

Your program looks very exciting indeed. 

From Professor Todd DuBose, existential (daseinsanalytic) psychotherapist, Associate Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (20 November 2007):

I arrived safely back in Chicago. I wanted to tell you again how much I enjoyed my visit in London and my participation in the Inner Circle Seminar. I found the interactions very helpful and enriching, and your (and Naomi’s) kind hosting so very generous... I do hope we can all find other times and situations in the future to share more wonderful experiences as this past one was for me.

All my very best to you, Naomi, and the Inner Circle...

From Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (30 September 2007):

Alessandra Comini
at Inner Circle Seminar No. 118
‘The Profound Logic: Symphony and Psychotherapy’
23 September 2007

First of all: CONGRATS to you, Naomi, for spotting the false Gallen-Kallela painting. I did just look at the website you sent me and also have checked some of my own Finnish art books: the image of a sad little girl and others burn-beating is indeed, as you immediately mentioned after my speech, by Eero Järnefelt and not by Akseli. I have corrected my identification on the slide to read correctly, see below, and shall substitute another slide actually by Akseli for my lecture. I’m simply amazed (and terribly, that’s “THE-ribly” impressed that you realized the mistake, Naomi, especially since Akseli’s great grandson and his granddaughter were both present when I gave the expanded version (minus Sibelius “existential” ending) in Helsinki back in 1995 and neither one of them mentioned anything about that (perhaps they were being polite?). I do have to admit that I’ve not glanced at the lecture again until Tony contacted me concerning By A Finnish Fireside. So, Naomi, you are more observant than our resident (temporarily) Finn, dear Antti.

Tönnchen, dear, I shall cherish the memories of our two outings together...and then ALL day Sunday. Charlotte was so impressed by both of you and thinks Naomi is “very, very sharp.”


From Professor Thomas Szasz (6 May 2007):

All of the Seminars are monuments to scholarship (extinct in academic psychiatry and psychology). This one is really over the top.

From Adrian Laing, practising Solicitor Advocate and qualified Barrister, son of R. D. Laing, in his book R. D. Laing: A Life (second edition, 2006, p. xxiv):
Adrian Laing

The highly respected Anthony Stadlen, who has practised as an existential-phenomenological psychotherapist in London for over thirty years, continues to this day to hold well-attended and regular seminars in London on a wide variety of existential-psychotherapy-related topics, including dedicated all-day sessions focusing on the individual families featured in the ground-breaking work Sanity, Madness and the Family [by R. D.  Laing and A. Esterson, 1964], first published over forty years ago. 

From Angela Buxton, existential psychotherapist (5 December 2005):

Each one [of the Inner Circle Seminars] I have attended has been unique but each one has left me with precious insights. I highly recommend these seminars to anyone who asks the question: ‘How shall I live?’

Valerie Sinason

From Dr Valerie Sinason, psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, poet, writer, London (30 October 2005):

So sorry I am away in Australia when the seminar on Schiller is held. However, just the notice of it brings me useful information I would never have known otherwise. Please do know that your postings, even when people do not reply or do not come, are in themselves a generous source of information.

From ‘Emma Gold’, author of novels Easy and Hard and of the column ‘Sexploits’ in The Independent on Sunday (15 March 2005):

Sunday was fascinating. What a coup!

  Franz Stangl,
commandant of Treblinka extermination camp,
in prison in Düsseldorf in 1970,
in conversation with Gitta Sereny
(photograph by Don  Honeyman)

From Gitta Sereny (at Inner Circle Seminar No. 81, ‘The Psychology of Extermination: Into That Darkness, 30 Years On’, 10 October 2004):

I am delighted about Anthony Stadlen’s method of having everybody introduce themselves. It has never happened in any of the many, many groups I have led or attended or whatever, and I think it’s a very good idea. I mean, several of you now, I really remember what you said, I can’t remember everything, but… And we will get to know each other better in the course of the day, and it’s a good thing. And you are obviously all the kind of people who not only want to talk with us, but who we will enjoy and get something out of talking to. So I am very glad this happened and I am very glad to see you.

From Professor Susannah Heschel (25 June 2004):

Susannah Heschel
Many thanks to you and to Naomi for your wonderful hospitality! I had a great time at the seminar and, especially, being with you and Naomi. I hope we see each other again soon!

From Justina Vaughan, existential psychotherapist, Salisbury (28 May 2004):

I meant to e-mail you straight away after the last seminar to say how excellent it was. Claudia Koonz was an absolute delight. Could have gone on listening to her for hours more.

Claudia Koonz

From Professor Claudia Koonz (21 May 2004):

The chance to engage with interested people not in my field is the kind of response one dreams of when writing for broader audiences.

From Dr Ann-Helen Siirala (at Dr Martti Siirala’s 80th-birthday seminar, 24 November 2002):

On behalf of Martti and myself, I will start expressing our gratitude to Anthony Stadlen for arranging this inspiring event! – and to the nameless something, that offers us a space for something like this event to take place. Something that appears in itself as impossible … unrealisable.

As Martti would express it: … that here would be a real, and not only seeming, presence to the wonders of life.

Martti and Ann-Helen Siirala
at Martti Siirala’s seminar
on his 80th birthday
Inner Circle Seminar No. 63
24 November 2002

From Drs Martti and Ann-Helen Siirala, Helsinki (2 February 2001):

You are doing pioneering research and throwing light upon really relevant questions through making history alive and reaching our present dilemmas as psychoanalytic therapists.

Martti Siirala at home

From Andrea Wheeler, architectural student, Nottingham University (5 November 1999): 

The "Dream and Da-Sein" seminar took place yesterday. (I was abit out of my depth but I can try with a part-summary) [The Egyptian meal in Baker's Street afterwards with an amazing very young (star) Jungian - Suni (something) and red wine and honeycake ended it all so well - and I had some amazing dreams last night too.] Anthony Stadlen who organized and ran the day teaches on an MA course in existential psychotherapy - I did not know existed neither did I know that there was a school in Zurich of Da-Sein Analysis. The day was organised around a series of readings (texts) about dreams and how to analyse them. In effect it compared the Jungian method, Freudian method and the Bossian method of dream analysis. The texts that we discussed were: 1. Josephs Dream, (of the sheafs - which were his brothers - bowing down to him): Questions were such as why did the brothers think they understood what the dream meant? How well do we already understand what dreams mean - people of always thought of them as prophetic and always a sense of how much they can communicate about a person - why were the brother's upset. The bossian method of analysing the dream however would not discuss with the patient what the symbols in the dream meant {Jung?} (neither what they meant to the patient {Freud?}) it would be something like in the analysis of the waking Da-Sein a discussion about how there are no dream symbols - his question would be "what if there are no dream symbols?" {no universal language of dreams} How would we approach the dream then - without metaphors or sheafs{bothers}? He would say a sheaf is a sheaf. The dream would show somehow how much DaSein (dream/waking?) is open to the thingyness of things and analysis would therefore be towards some Being/Thing "the sheaf already belongs to the brothers"/stuff ("seeing" the essential Being in the sheaf) that the list talks about so much. {Reading: Genesis trans Alter, Robert. W.W. Norton, London and New York} In Boss's "The Analysis of Dreams" he quotes much "The Thing" "Building Thinking and Dwelling" "The Question of Technology" 2. Plato's Collected Dialogues (1961) (ed.) Edith Hamilton. Bollingen. p. 42 (Phaedo): Not even Socrates knows what everyone's dream means - doesn't even know what his own dreams mean. (He doesn't have a system) - Discussion of the idea that dreams are given to us by the gods. Boss would think that dreams can be premonitory and telepathic (all about this Heideggerian non-cartesian thing). 3. Xenophon, The Persian Expidition trans. Rex Warner. Penguin Books. 4. The Talmudic theory of dream analysis. 5. Tolstoys' writing of Oblongsky's dream in Anna karinin. + five others I will try to give a better summary later. I hope this gives abit of a flavor of the day. I was very good and I think that Anthony Stadlen is a very interesting and interested psychoanalyst who met Boss a number of times. Andrea