Beyond Psychotherapy: On Becoming a (Radical) Psychoanalyst

Publication Type:



Routledge (2019)




Psychology / Mental Health, Psychology / Movements / Psychoanalysis


In Beyond Psychotherapy: On Becoming a (Radical) Psychoanalyst, Barnaby B. Barratt illuminates a new perspective on what it means to open our awareness to the depths of psychic life and restores the radicality of genuinely psychoanalytic discourse as the unique science of healing. Starting with an incisive critique of the ideological conformism of psychotherapy, Barratt defines the method of psychoanalysis against the conventional definition, which emphasizes the practice of arriving at useful interpretations about our personal existence. Instead, he shows how a negatively dialectical and deconstructive praxis successfully ‘attacks’ the self-enclosures of interpretation, allowing the speaking-listening subject to become existentially and spiritually open to hidden dimensions of our lived-experience. He also demonstrates how the erotic deathfulness of our being-in-the-world is the ultimate source of all the many resistances to genuinely psychoanalytic praxis, and the reason Freud’s discipline has so frequently been reduced to various models of psychotherapeutic treatment. Focusing on the free-associative dimension of psychoanalysis, Barratt both explores what psychoanalytic processes can achieve that psychotherapeutic ones cannot, and considers the sociopolitical implications of the radical psychoanalytic ‘take’ on the human condition. The book also offers a detailed and compassionate pointer for those wanting to train as psychoanalysts, guiding them away from what Barratt calls the ‘trade-school mentality’ pervading most training institutes today. Groundbreaking and inspiring, Beyond Psychotherapy will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists and all other therapists seeking a radically innovative approach. It will also be a valuable text for scholars and students of psychoanalytic studies, social sciences, philosophy and the history of ideas.


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