"Narcissus was a man who was so in love with himself that he fell in love with his own reflection. No one else was good enough for him. He stared into the pool, and eventually wasted away." But that's not the whole story.
Donald Winnicott, the British pediatrician and psychoanalyst, was notable in the mid-20th century for his empathy and recognition of the complexity and resilience of the mother-child bond. In the late 40s he recorded extensively for the BBC, and the resulting broadcasts made his term "good enough mother," and his advice about parenting, influential throughout England. There is a short (2 min) snippet of him talking at BBC 4, but the full show about Winnicott's broadcasts and influence is on YouTube. [more inside]
Symptoms are forms of self-knowledge. When you think, I’m agoraphobic, I’m a shy person, whatever it may be, these are forms of self-knowledge. What psychoanalysis, at its best, does is cure you of your self-knowledge. And of your wish to know yourself in that coherent, narrative way. You can only recover your appetite, and appetites, if you can allow yourself to be unknown to yourself. Because the point of knowing oneself is to contain one’s anxieties about appetite. Psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips interviewed by The Paris Review.
"The McRib is like Holbein’s skull: we experience it as (quasi-)foodstuff, as marketing campaign, as cult object, as Internet meme, but those experiences don’t sufficiently explain it. To understand McRib fully, we have to look at the sandwich askew." By Ian Bogost (Previously). Also previously, The McRib as Arbitrage.
“I don’t think you’re gay,” he said. He then went through the same litany as Dr. F.—he didn’t believe I was a pervert, he just felt I was lost and confused and needed to be set on the right path. Dr. K. believed in behavioral modification. He told me to place a rubber band around my wrist. Every time I had “gay thoughts,” I was to snap the rubber band, causing pain. Eventually I would associate the thoughts with the pain. - Gene Stone on growing up gay, struggling with sex, anti-gay conversion therapy, and the doctor-mandated sex surrogate that finally helped him.
In Treatment was an HBO series that ran three seasons from 2008 through 2010. Adapated - often word-for-word - from the Israeli drama BeTipul, it depicted the weekly sessions of a psychologist (Emmy-nominated Gabriel Byrne) with his patients (including Debra Winger, Emmy-nominated Hope Davis, and, in her first American role, Mia Wasikowska) and with his own therapist (Emmy-winning Dianne Wiest). The filming of the series placed extraordinary demands on Byrne - which are well described in this interview with showrunner Warren Leight. (h/t: MCMikeNamara) You can watch its entire first episode here. (possible spoilers throughout)
According to Adorno, in psychoanalysis only the exaggerations are true. If you wished to characterize the Democrats and the Republicans in terms of true exaggerations, you might say that the Republicans have become the Party of Psychosis while the Democrats have become the Party of Neurosis. The Republicans are psychotic because they have lost contact with reality, and orient their behavior not toward realities but toward fantasies. The Democrats are neurotic because they are aim-inhibited, as an old-fashioned shrink might say: their anxieties, hang-ups, and insecurities mean that they can’t attain satisfaction, since in a basic way they won’t even allow themselves to know what they want.
Another honor killing that isn't about honor, and even less about Nietzsche. By MeFi's own resident psychiatrist.
Freud: the last great Enlightenment thinker. Freud never held out the hope of tranquillity. Rather, he aimed to reconcile those who entered psychoanalysis to a state of perpetual unrest...psychoanalysis does not so much promise inner peace as open up a possibility of release from the fantasy that inner conflict will end.
Carl Jung: Taking inner life seriously. An eight-part series on the thought of Carl Gustav Jung from the Guardian's How to Believe series (previously.) Jung's relationship with his patient, student, and rumored lover Sabina Spielrein, and his mentor Sigmund Freud is the subject of a new film, "A Dangerous Method." [Via] [more inside]
"Looked at a certain way, the entire enterprise seems geared toward the needs of the therapist rather than the patient to a degree that can feel, after a certain amount of time, undemocratic, if not outright exploitative. With no endpoint in sight, it’s possible to stay in therapy forever without much real progress; at the same time, the weight of responsibility is borne almost entirely by the patient, whose “resistance” or lack of effort-making is often blamed for any stagnancy in treatment before the possibility of a therapist’s shortcomings is even acknowledged." [more inside]
The Rehabilitation of Ernest Gellner - It is easy to imagine why Ernest Gellner would be one of the universally known figures in Anglophone intellectual life. A polymath whose work ranged across anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology, his mind wrestled with an encyclopedia's worth of nagging questions about nationalism, modernity, civil society, imperialism, Islam, psychoanalysis, ethics and epistemology ... All of this, to repeat, should explain Gellner's monumental prominence – except for the fact that he has no such prominence. (via mr) [more inside]
Cary in the Sky with Diamonds. "Before Timothy Leary and the Beatles, LSD was largely unknown and unregulated. But in the 1950s, as many as 100 Hollywood luminaries—Cary Grant and Esther Williams among them—began taking the drug as part of psychotherapy. With LSD research beginning a comeback, the authors recount how two Beverly Hills doctors promoted a new 'wonder drug,' at $100 a session, profoundly altering the lives of their glamorous patients." [Via]
The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society Dream Films 1926–1972 are part of an installation/exhibition celebrating the centennial of Freud's visit to Coney Island. (The films may also be viewed on ubuweb.) Previously on Zoe Beloff.
What type are you? (password: character) Step into Pentagram's psychoanalyst's office, and let him diagnose your type. 'Researched over seven years with a team of 23 academics across Eastern Europe, ‘What Type Are You’ asks the four key character questions of our day, analyses your responses in exceptional detail and recommends one of 16 typefaces as a result. The recommendation is sometimes controversial but always unerringly true. Said one respondent, “At first I felt angry when I was told my type is Pistilli Roman but two weeks later, I was completely reconciled to it. Now I wonder why I ever thought I was a Gill Sans.”'
“The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.” How Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
Each person has one mind, right? Wrong, according to the Concept of Internal Cohabitation - we are all born with two autonomous, sentient minds. One of them can think rationally and relate to other people, and one of them is fundamentally negative in outlook, and opposed to relating. Both minds watch the world through our senses, but compete for control of the body. But if this is indeed the case, why is it not common knowledge? How could such a fundamental aspect of human nature go unnoticed for so long? [more inside]
"The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination was established to promote an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of creativity and the imaginative process." To this end they hold regular roundtable discussions, streaming videos of which are available online. Some past highlights include: [more inside]
"Žižek!" is a feature documentary exploring the eccentric personality and esoteric work of the "wild man of theory": the eminent Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek. Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7. [more inside]
Freud Is Widely Taught at Universities, Except in the Psychology Department.
"This was painted by a person with a rare and severe mental disorder. He was constantly seeing his own fantasies all around him. He also had a certain phobia..." (via Digg). The image is an imperfect reproduction of a particular postcard dated 1972. A blogger (in Russian) claims his psychiatry professor found one aspect of this eerie painting that reveals the patient's disorder. Allegedly, only one of his students in the past 15 years has figured it out. The psychoanalytic mystery has piqued the interest (in Russian) of the online community. A number of supplemental hints from the professor and thousands of guesses later, the case remains unsolved. Skeptics have already decried the mystery as a traffic-boosting hoax, but a few signs still point to its authenticity. Most notably, the artist's reproduction of another classic painting contains the following note: "transferred in 1990 from Moscow mental hospital."
The Century Of The Self. It's a documentary, and the four parts are available at archive.org  -- with a higher quality bittorrent option [via mindhacks]. The program is about the use of psychoanalytical techniques to manipulate and control the "bewildered herd", "engineering consent" in a world fraught with "irrational impulses" [more inside].
If the Marquis de Sade were alive today, would he have a web site? (Front page OK, rest of site: make up your own mind).