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Life of the mind: a way with words

Mental health is all about daring to depend on someone else

By Anna Blundy   October 2016

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Close readers of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion and Donald Winnicott and the rest of the psychoanalytic cannon develop their own shrinky language, which is meant to help therapists make sense of their patient, but can instead serve to cut them off.

Readers of Freud’s work will happily talk about themselves and other adults like this: “Very castrating,” “Puts up a phallic defence,” “Still working through the Oedipus complex,” “Chronically narcissistic,” “Dreadful penis envy.” It’s all about unconscious fantasy, yes, but it can sound…

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