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Posts tagged "Psychoanalysis"

On Acting Like A Child: The Valuable Lesson of Regression

In his Introductory Lectures to psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud used a very simple analogy to explain the relationship between the id (our animal instinct) and the ego (our common sense). He described it to be like the relationship between a rider and a horse, which sounds simple enough. The animal is the id, the rider atop […]

Another Week Ends: Silent Treatment, 1st-World Problems, Rectify & Rev, Robinson’s Lila, Phillips’ Freud, Heresy Help, Tragic Soccer, and Soviet Propaganda

1. Under the auspices of “How and Why to Ban the Silent Treatment from Your Relationship”, The Wall Street Journal issued a perceptive and even quite touching treatise on how the dynamic of demand and withdrawal comes to poison so many loving relationships. The article starts out with the same old line about judgment and […]

A Cure for Our Self-Knowledge: Why We’ll Always Want Our Milk in the Same Sippy Cup

The Paris Review’s (stunning) most recent issue features interviews with quite the coupling: Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and our favorite psychoanalyst, Adam Phillips. Both men talk about the art of writing, Phillips using a lot of the dialectic idioms you seem him using on paper all the time. Things like, “Symptoms are forms of […]

Criminal Memory and the Myth of “Getting Away With It”

In the suburb where I grew up, I can still picture the house of a younger friend in the cul-de-sac, the split-floor entry, the metal banisters, the dirty carpet. I even especially remember the parent’s bedroom, and the mirror on the door, and I remember it because this is where their kid and I would […]

Depressive Double Lives and the Usefulness of Pain

“For a long time in my life, I felt like I’d been living two different lives,” Kevin Breel says as he begins his TED talk titled “Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic.” “There’s the life that everyone sees, and then, there’s the life that only I see.” In a well-delivered and candid talk, Breel […]

The 3 Responses to Conflict: Fight, Flight, and Appeasement

Is David Brooks reading Mockingbird? Or is Mockingbird covertly getting its wisdom from one of the 1950s’ lesser known psychoanalysts, Karen Horney? Either way, in a deeply clairvoyant op-ed about the pluses and minuses of cognitive behavior therapy, Mr. Brooks looks at what’s missing from today’s preferred form of self-knowing, which seems to be more focused […]

Adam Phillips on Why You Are a Fundamentalist

From the psychoanalyst’s essay, “On What Is Fundamental” from his book On Balance: And yet, of course–and this is the kind of move that psychoanalysis has made all too available to us–we are all fundamentalists about something. There must be, psychoanalysis might tell us, to put it in as silly a way as possible, a […]

Populist, Piggishly Nostalgic Do-It-Yourselfers: Our Pictures of Ourselves in 2011

The Atlantic has always done a splendid job with immediate meta-cognition, at taking a few steps back from the cogs of the e’er-turning world “spinning madly on,” and communicating not only what’s going on, but what’s going on behind what’s, uh, going on. It’s hard not to celebrate journalism that is doing this kind of […]

Fancies of Satisfaction: A Psychoanalysis of Pain, Pleasure, and the Good Life

The New York Times blog snagged a brilliant interview with British philosopher and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on Western culture’s fixation with happiness. According to Phillips, this notion that a good life is a happy life is a detrimental misnomer that consequently drives the individual into deeper dissatisfaction. Insofar as pain happens regardless, the pursuit of […]