Left-wing melancholia?

There was an interesting book review in the Boston Review recently by Peter Gordon of Enzo Traverso’s Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History and Memory. In his introduction Gordon was very quick to link the book’s subject with the recent election of Trump: November 9, 2016, was a strange day to walk …

Psychotherapy and the NHS: time for a rethink?

In the early 2000s I spent three years working as an honorary psychoanalytic psychotherapist in an NHS mental health trust as part of my analytic training. Back then, this was the time-honoured route to becoming a psychotherapist. What was particularly interesting about this experience was that I saw my first …

Psychosomatics: when the soul meets the body

A while ago I posted a piece on medically unexplained symptoms.1 This was in response to an article by Louise Atkinson in the Daily Mail on chronic back pain and how this might be caused by stress and tension rather than any underlying physical problem.2 One of the reasons I …

The riddle of transference

Transference is one of the cornerstones of psychoanalysis, and yet at the same time it always seems to present itself as something of a puzzle, a riddle.1  In the world of ‘pop-psychology’ (and, for that matter, pop-psychoanalysis and psychotherapy) transference is often viewed as the patient/client ‘mistaking’ their therapist or …