Psychoanalysis and Anxiety: From Knowing to Being

Author(s) : Chris Mawson

Psychoanalysis and Anxiety: From Knowing to Being

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : March 2019
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 218
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 94187
  • ISBN 13 : 9780367152277
  • ISBN 10 : 9780367152

Also by Chris Mawson

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Psychoanalysis and Anxiety: From Knowing to Being combines psychoanalytic, existential and dramaturgical perspectives on the study of anxiety.

The book explores the implications for psychoanalysis of including a consideration of the being of the patient, and of the analyst. The central principle throughout is that the psychoanalytic and the existential belong together since it is the irreducible fact of anxiety that unifies them. It is in relation to anxiety that we are helped by other human beings to bear what is, and what we are.

Divided into four sections, the book begins with the distinction made in antiquity between anxiety and fear, before discussing its treatment by philosophers such as Heidegger, who regarded anxiety as the mood most disclosive of our being, and Kierkegaard, who distinguished between fear and angst. The book then explores how anxiety has been understood by major psychoanalytic theorists, including Freud, Klein, Winnicott and Bion, before a third section discusses how key principles of drama relate to therapeutic practice and theory, including a re-evaluation of the concept of catharsis, as well as Brecht’s concept of making strange the familiar. The pursuit of insightful knowledge in psychoanalysis is reconsidered in the book’s concluding section, with a shift of emphasis from psychoanalytic interpretations as statements of knowing to interpretive activity as a continuous process of becoming informed.

This insightful and wide-ranging volume will fascinate practising psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, anyone working in mental health, as well as scholars of philosophy and theatre.

About the Author(s)

Chris Mawson is a training and supervising analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society and works in private practice as a psychoanalyst.

More titles by Chris Mawson

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Professor Simon du Plock on 08/02/2019 10:47:04

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

This is that rare thing that is a pleasure to discover – a text which manages to present important philosophical ideas in ways which are both challenging and assessable, and which in the process illuminates a significant area of clinical practice.
Chris Mawson has written a remarkably lucid and scholarly book which offers a much-needed bridge between psychoanalytic and existential formulations of anxiety. It will be required reading for anyone interested in contemporary psychoanalytic or existential therapy, not least because of its rigorous account of the common roots of both in the ancient world, and the engaging way in which it traces these influences down the centuries to the present day. This is a finely-crafted book which shines with veracity and knowledge – a joy to read and a valuable resource for all practitioners, regardless of their theoretical orientation, who are concerned to engage as fully as possible with those who consult with them.
Some of the material presented here will be familiar to existential therapists, but the comparisons between the work of, in particular, Heidegger and Bion provide enlightening and compelling new contributions to an understanding of the irreducible fact of anxiety which unifies both the psychoanalytic and existential communities. Mawson’s work promises to stimulate and provoke practitioners in equal measure. A ground-breaking book which deserves the widest possible readership.

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