Adam Phillips

Posted on Aug 09, 2016

Adam Phillips/RSA Interview: Psychoanalysis: Is it Worth It?

Adam Phillips, one of Britain’s most renowned psychoanalysts and literary figures, joined RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor for a conversation about life, the universe, and everything (and maybe a little Freud as well).

An enormously powerful and compelling discussion on the nature and scope of psychoanalysis today and its possibilities for the future.  Subjects discussed include:

  • Psychoanalysis as a listening cure, not a talking cure
  • Adam Phillips on the fascination of the everyday
  • Why are people so unkind to each other:  “one of the good things that psychoanalysis can do is show you a) why you repress your natural kindness;  b) why you’re frightened of being kind; and c) what the enemies of being kind are within oneself”
  • “If psychoanalysis has got nothing to contribute to politics, to group life, then it seems to me to be useless”
  • “Psychoanalysis doesn’t allow you to take refuge in cynicism, or in superioirty, or pessimism”
  • “It’s about finding what the obstacles are in enjoying each others’ company”
  • “ When I think about a mind it seems like a very abstract thing”
  • “I would be promoting psychoanalysts not contributing to coaching the masters of industry; I think they should be trying to sabotage the masters of industry”

It’s a beautifully modulated and insightful interview, and the questions from the audience at the end are equally thought-provoking and challenging, so it’s worth watching till the end.

 

His most recent works include Unforbidden Pleasures, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life,Winnicott, Promises, PromisesTerrors and ExpertsPromises, Promises: Essays on Literature and Psychoanalysis, One Way and Another: New and Selected EssaysMonogamy, On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined LifeGoing SaneOn Kindness, On Balance, and Becoming Freud 

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