Friday, 1 January 2016

Laing & Esterson. 8. The Heads. 50 years on. Hilary Mantel and Anthony Stadlen conduct Inner Circle Seminar 237 (18 June 2017)

Laing and Esterson
Sanity, Madness and the Family
50 Years On
Family 8: The Heads

Dame Hilary Mantel   Anthony Stadlen
conduct
Inner Circle Seminar No. 237
Sunday 18 June 2017
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hilary Mantel
R. D. Laing
Aaron Esterson

We believe that the shift of point of view that these descriptions both embody and demand has an historical significance no less radical than the shift from a demonological to a clinical viewpoint three hundred years ago.

Thus, in Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics (1964), R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson introduced their revolutionary descriptions of eleven families of ‘schizophrenics’. But fifty years on, the ‘clinical viewpoint’ still reigns supreme. Have Laing and Esterson been proved wrong? They wrote: ‘Nobody can deny us the right to disbelieve in schizophrenia.’ Why, then, do most psychiatrists and psychotherapists claim Laing and Esterson said ‘families cause schizophrenia’?

Hilary Mantel wrote that the simple words the people speak’ in Laing and Estersons book gave her, at 20, the courage to write her own astonishing books. Her introductions to the seminars in this series have enthralled participants.

Anthony Stadlen continues to interview the eleven families in the twenty-first century. Today, in the eighth of eleven seminars, we shall explore Chapter 8, on Jean Head’ and her family, with the help of Esterson’s original tape recordings on which the book is based; of photographs; and of Stadlen’s reports and recordings of his discussions with Jean and her family: Jean herself, her husband, her father, her brother, her sister-in-law, and her foster-brother. Your contribution to the dialogue will be warmly welcomed.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  +44 (0) 7809 433 250
E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Pain and Pleasure (1957): Szasz’s first book – 60 years on. Inner Circle Seminar 234 (12 March 2017)

Anthony Stadlen    Thomas Szasz
at Szasz
s 90th-birthday seminar
Inner Circle Seminar No. 153
London, 13 June 2010  
Pain and Pleasure:
A Study of Bodily Feelings
(1957)

Szasz’s first book – 60 years on

Anthony Stadlen
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar
No. 234
Sunday 12 March 2017
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
People have denounced Thomas Szasz ever since he published his second book, The Myth of Mental Illness, in 1961. Psychiatrists say he ‘walked away from’ suffering; psychoanalysts say he was unconscious of the ‘unconscious’; existential therapists say he was a ‘Cartesian dualist’; and all say he discounted the psychological problems of ‘schizophrenics’. But his very first book, Pain and Pleasure: A Study of Bodily Feelings (1957), proves all these accusations false. Far from denying suffering, he questions the distinction between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ pain; he is adept at exploring ‘unconscious phantasy’; from the first sentence, he confronts so-called ‘Cartesian dualism’; and he has a whole chapter ‘Bodily Feelings in Schizophrenia’. This first book of Szasz’s shows conclusively that his thesis that ‘mental illness’ is a ‘myth’ reveals not a naive denial of psychological complexity but, rather, the arrival in the 1950s of a master existential psychoanalyst. Your contribution to the discussion will be warmly welcomed.
Thomas Szasz
1970s
Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  +44 (0) 7809 433 250
E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Laing & Esterson. 7. The Golds. 50 years on. Hilary Mantel and Anthony Stadlen conduct Inner Circle Seminar 233 (12 February 2017)

Laing and Esterson
Sanity, Madness and the Family
50 Years On
Family 7: The Golds

Dame Hilary Mantel   Anthony Stadlen
conduct
Inner Circle Seminar No. 233
Sunday 12 February 2017
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hilary Mantel
Aaron Esterson

R. D. Laing

We believe that the shift of point of view that these descriptions both embody and demand has an historical significance no less radical than the shift from a demonological to a clinical viewpoint three hundred years ago.

Thus, in Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics (1964), R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson introduced their revolutionary descriptions of eleven families of ‘schizophrenics’. But fifty years on, the ‘clinical viewpoint’ still reigns supreme. Have Laing and Esterson been proved wrong? They wrote: ‘Nobody can deny us the right to disbelieve in schizophrenia.’ Why, then, do most psychiatrists and psychotherapists claim Laing and Esterson said ‘families cause schizophrenia’?

Hilary Mantel wrote that the simple words the people speak’ in Laing and Estersons book gave her, at 20, the courage to write her own astonishing books. Her introductions to the seminars in this series have enthralled participants.

Anthony Stadlen continues to interview the eleven families in the twenty-first century. Today, we explore Chapter 7, on ‘Ruth Gold’ and her family, in the light of his discussions with Ruth’s family. It is noteworthy that Ruths brother, knowing Laing and Estersons account, but exasperated with existential therapists who accuse them of bias against his and Ruths parents, pronounced it a whitewash’ that failed to show how monstrous his family was. Your contribution to the discussion will be welcomed.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  +44 (0) 7809 433 250
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers. 14. Christopher Smart. Allan Ingram conducts Inner Circle Seminar 232 (22 January 2017)

Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers
14. Christopher Smart
(17221771)
Confined by the Infinite
Christopher Smart
Allan Ingram
Allan Ingram
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar
No. 232
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 22 January 2017
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
11
Christopher Smart (11 April 1722 – 21 May 1771) wrote in 1762, in a private mad-house in Bethnal Green, a poem beginning:
For I will consider my Cat Jeoffrey
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.

This great poet was locked up by mad-doctors for falling to his knees and praying in the street. But James Boswell quoted Dr Samuel Johnson as saying: 

... although, rationally speaking, it is greater madness not to pray at all, than to pray as Smart did, I am afraid there are so many who do not pray, that their understanding is not called in question.

Allan Ingram writes:


Christopher Smart
(1722 – 1771)
Confined by the Infinite

Born in Kent and educated at Durham School and at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Smart first became a Fellow at Pembroke and looked destined, like another mid-century poet, Thomas Gray, for a cloistered life as a don and occasional writer. However, he was already contributing to magazine publication as well as winning distinguished poetry competitions, and in 1749 he transferred to London, where he hoped to make a living as a professional writer. In particular he was, between 1751 and 1753, the leading contributor to the magazine The Midwife, which involved his adopting various pseudonyms, including ‘Mrs Mary Midnight’, or ‘Mother Midnight’, the midwife herself, and even for a while performing the role on stage in women’s clothing for a popular entertainment devised by himself. During this time, he married, had two daughters, and became increasingly debt-laden. Always an intense writer of religious verse, his mental problems became obvious with what seems to have been a breakdown in 1756: his Hymn to the Supreme Being on Recovery from a Dangerous Fit of Illness praises the Lord for saving him from his afflictions. However, a year later he was confined in the new St Luke’s Hospital under the radical physician William Battie, being discharged a year later as incurable, whereupon he was moved to Potter’s private madhouse in Bethnal Green, where he remained until January 1763. Smart lived for only eight years after his final discharge. Within that time he produced more works, some of them of extremely high quality, in his effort to remain solvent while also writing begging letters to friends, many of whom were regularly very generous. Estranged from his wife and family, he died in a debtor’s prison.

Very little is known about Smart’s time in St Luke’s or in Potter’s, but while there he seems to have written the bulk of his most remarkable poetry, in particular Jubilate Agno and, probably, A Song to David. We get almost no sense from these of the realities of his confinement. He clearly had materials for writing, and access to works of reference, which are plentifully drawn on in the first of these poems. It is an extraordinary celebration of universal harmony, stretching across different religions, historical periods, natural history, astronomy, letters and their sounds, and contemporary figures and acquaintances. It is unique, not only as an asylum poem, or as a religious poem, but within the entire century. It genuinely does give the impression that Smart regarded himself, as a religious being, as confined only by the infinite.

The seminar will deal with the background to Smart’s confinement, including types of diagnosis of insanity, and conditions within contemporary madhouses. It will also consider specimens of Smart’s writing, before going on to look at sections from his asylum writings, both in terms of the vision Smart is presenting and of what they might tell us about his state of mind under confinement.

Allan Ingram, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Northumbria, has published many books on 18th-century ‘madness’ and ‘melancholy’. He directed (2006-9) the research project ‘Before Depression, 1660-1800’. He memorably conducted our tenth Locked Up seminar, on Alexander (‘the Corrector’) Cruden, on 10 February 2013. He is ideally placed to help us explore Christopher Smart’s incarceration and his relationship with his gaolers.

Venue:   Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost:    Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857   +44 (0) 7809 433 250    E-mail: stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Heidegger’s Black Notebooks: The role of ‘World Jewry’. Inner Circle Seminar 231 (11 December 2016)

Martin Heidegger
Heidegger’s Black Notebooks:
The role of ‘World Jewry’ in the
‘uprooting of all beings from Beyng [Seyn]’

Anthony Stadlen
conducts 
Inner Circle Seminar No. 231
Sunday 11 December 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Heidegger writes in one of his Black Notebooks that his discussion of  the role of Weltjudentum (World Jewry) is not to do with race’. His is a metaphysical questioning of the kind of humanity that can with downright abandon undertake the uprooting of all beings from Beyng [Seyn] as a worldhistorical “task”’. Heidegger attacks the Nazis, the Bolsheviks, the Americans, the English as also engaged in this ‘calculative’ ‘machination’ and ‘uprooting’. He sees his teacher Husserl, a convert to Christianity, as precluded from true insight by being, still, a Jew. Is Heidegger an ‘antisemite’? What is this all about? In this seminar we try to get beyond simplistic categories. How does Heidegger’s critique of ‘World Jewry’ differ from T. S. Eliot’s religious anti-Judaism or Nazi ‘racial’ ‘antisemitism’? What is the reality of Christian and post-Christian anti-Judaism? How did it prepare the ground both for Nazi ‘racism’ and for Heideggers opposition to this?

And what, if any, are the implications of all this for the everyday practice of psychotherapy, informed by Heideggers principles among others? In September 2015, Anthony Stadlen was invited by the Greek hosts of the ninth Forum of the International Federation of Daseinsanalysis in Athens to conduct a seminar with the title Anthony Stadlen and the Inner Circle Seminars meet Heideggers Zollikon Seminars. Stadlen asked the seminar participants to say in what ways their reading the book Zollikon Seminars had helped, hindered, or been irrelevant to their practice of psychotherapy; but none of the participants responding at length addressed – far less answered – this simple question. Our seven recent seminars in London (20142016, see this archive) recapitulating the Zollikon seminars fifty years on have been enriched by psychotherapists thoughtful answers. Todays seminar offers an opportunity for them to address a similar question to the – surely more problematic – Black Notebooks

Venue:  Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost:  Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  +44 (0) 7809 433 250
E-mail:  stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Laing & Esterson. 6. The Fields. 50 years on. Hilary Mantel and Anthony Stadlen conduct Inner Circle Seminar 230 (20 November 2016)

Laing and Esterson
Sanity, Madness and the Family
50 Years On
Family 6: The Fields

Dame Hilary Mantel   Anthony Stadlen
conduct
Inner Circle Seminar No. 230
Sunday 20 November 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
R. D. Laing
Aaron Esterson
Hilary Mantel

We believe that the shift of point of view that these descriptions both embody and demand has an historical significance no less radical than the shift from a demonological to a clinical viewpoint three hundred years ago.

Thus, in Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics (1964), R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson introduced their revolutionary descriptions of eleven families of ‘schizophrenics’. But fifty years on, the ‘clinical viewpoint’ still reigns supreme. Have Laing and Esterson been proved wrong? They wrote: ‘Nobody can deny us the right to disbelieve in schizophrenia.’ Why, then, do most psychiatrists and psychotherapists claim Laing and Esterson said ‘families cause schizophrenia’?

Hilary Mantel wrote that the simple words the people speak’ in Laing and Estersons book gave her, at 20, the courage to write her own astonishing books. Her introductions to the seminars in this series have enthralled participants.

Anthony Stadlen continues to interview the eleven families in the twenty-first century. Today, we explore Chapter 6, on ‘June Field’ and her family, with the help of Esterson’s original tape recordings on which the book is based; of photographs; and of Stadlen’s reports and recordings of his discussions with June’s husband, sister, and friend. Your contribution will be warmly  welcomed.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  +44 (0) 7809 433 250
E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers. 13. Rosina Bulwer Lytton. Sarah Wise conducts Inner Circle 229 (9 October 2016)

Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers
13. Rosina Bulwer Lytton
(1802–1882)
Wife of Edward Bulwer Lytton
‘The first mistake I made was being born at all’
Rosina Bulwer Lytton
née Rosina Doyle Wheeler
4 November 1802 – 12 March 1882

     







Sarah Wise


















Sarah Wise
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar No. 229
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 9 October 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sarah Wise’s brilliant third book, Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England (2012), shortlisted for the 2014 Wellcome Book Prize, is, according to Anthony Daniels, as interesting a work of social history as you are ever likely to read’; and her book received many other stunning reviews.

In her book, she reports her historical research on, among other incarcerated ‘lunatics’, Rosinanée Rosina Doyle Wheelerwife of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, whose story Sarah Wise summarises as follows:

In the summer of 1858, Rosina spent 25 days in a Middlesex lunatic asylum, confined there after causing severe public embarrassment to Sir Edward. One of the most powerful men in England, and with a huge circle of influential friends, Sir Edward had obtained the agreement of Lord Shaftesbury (the head of the governmental Commissioners in Lunacy) to collude in this highly questionable certification and incarceration.

A huge public and newspaper backlash saw Rosina swiftly liberated, and she went on to write one of the 19th-century’s most detailed and damning indictments of English lunacy legislation, administration and the 'mad-doctor' industry. This memoir, A Blighted Life, was the first of the major feminist case histories that blew open the gendered nature of certain Victorian lunacy accusations.

THE SEMINAR DIVIDES INTO FOUR QUARTERS

10am-11.20am      Brief biography of the Bulwer Lyttons and an account of ‘the worst marriage in England’, as it was to be dubbed
11.40am-1pm         Certifying Rosina: ‘moral insanity’, angry wives, compliant Commissioners, over-diagnosing doctors
2pm-3.20pm       Wyke House, Middlesex: portrait of an exclusive private asylum, and the role such institutions played in 19th-century mental healthcare
3.40pm-5pm        Rosina’s fight-back: inflaming the public, galvanising the newspaper press, and forcing Thomas Carlyle to identify what he believed constituted ‘mad’ and what did not

Sarah Wise will be an ideal guide to these events and to such questions, as we know from her superb seminar on John Perceval, in our Locked Up: Patients and their Gaolers subseries, on 22 June 2014. She will help us disentangle the social intelligibility of how Rosina Bulwer Lytton came to be locked up and ‘treated’. Although the day divides naturally into four quarters, these will not just be four lectures by our invited speaker. The heart of all the Inner Circle seminars is dialogue, and your contribution to the discussion will be warmly welcomed.


Venue:  Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost:  Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  +44 (0) 7809 433 250
E-mail:  stadlen@aol.com

For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Existential Pioneers. 22. Shōma Morita. Peg LeVine conducts Inner Circle Seminar 228 (11 September 2016)


Existential Pioneers
22. Shōma Morita
(18741938)
His original method of psychotherapy
and his theory of peripheral consciousness
Shōma Morita
(Image gifted to LeVine from Sato)
Peg LeVine   Takahisa Kora   Akihisa Kondo

Peg LeVine






Peg LeVine
conducts
Inner Circle Seminar
No. 228
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 11 September 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Japanese psychiatrist Shōma Morita (18741938), a contemporary of Freud and Jung, was impressed by psychoanalysts’ studies of their patients developmental histories; but he developed a theory of consciousness which challenged the postulate of a personal or collective unconscious’. The psychoanalyst Karen Horney, in turn, studied Moritas psychotherapy in Japan in the 1950s.

Peg LeVine is Clinical Psychologist and Medical Anthropologist; Research Affiliate (Shoah Foundation) at the Center for Genocide Studies, University of Southern California; and Associate Professor Adjunct at the School of Global and Population Health, University of Melbourne.

In todays seminar she will show how classic Morita Therapy advances eco-consciousness and justice in psychotherapy. She will argue that, since cognitive science took hold in the 1970s, complex consciousness theories have lost footing in psychology and medical science; and she will aim to reinstate consciousness as the dynamic core of Morita therapy. She will show that he advanced a phenomenal connexion between existentialism, Zen, Nature and the therapeutic role of serendipity; and that his views enhance Freud’s 1919 essay The Uncanny.

Peg LeVine writes:

The presence or absence of a theory of consciousness sways how, what, and where we practise and conduct research, as well as case formulation and health promotion. Morita is our forerunner of Ecopsychology and pioneer in consciousness studies. Pointedly, he equalised the strength between human-to-human attachment and human-to-Nature bonds by penetrating our anthropomorphic borders.

You are invited to participate in this dialogical seminar; your contribution will be warmly welcomed.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ
Cost:    Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  +44 (0) 7809 433 250 
E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit:
http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.