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Psychoanalysis

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Freud founded psychoanalysis during the last gasps of the nineteenth century. The night of the 24th July 1895, Freud’s work eventually came to fruition through a dream: the Irma dream. This inception of psychoanalysis, from Freud’s midsummer night’s dream to the idea of lying the patients down to free-associate, was to give his technique its signature: the couch.

Today, we work in an ever-evolving tradition, which was taken up from where Freud himself had sensed a need for further elaboration: He had run out of time, and another fresh start was to come and continue discovering the great mystery – what we are beyond a biological body and cognitive mind.

We are social beings, yet our ability to articulate, communicate, and fantasise through language is both our privilege and our doom. As much as it is through the narratives that we understand and communicate love, desire and excitation, we might also suffer from our memories and the narratives we have made around them. Our agency, however, lies in a fine line between suffering and seeking pleasure; an agency over how we want to carry on living.

In psychoanalysis, before forming our new version of being, we start with analysing the layers and properties of the language. We examine the border of our limitations in order to tackle or cope with them. This can be done through a journey of discovery and examination of the past, as well as the a-temporal unconscious.

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Paradise Lost © Georg Gerster, Lake Maharlu, 1976