Psychic Suffering: From Pain to Growth




This book creates an awareness of our 'excessive' fear of mental pain: the ubiquitous abhorrence of inner distress functions as a gravitational force that may ultimately impede both maturation and creativity, as if we were facing a choice between utilising our inner suffering, or else being overwhelmed by our fear of its inertial power. Psychoanalytic interpretation is the effort to render pain more approachable, and bearable enough for us to move forward, to avoid the escapes of pathology and somatisation. This exploration is in fact an urgent concern, both clinically and socially.

At the centre of psychoanalytic culture, and of the humanities in general, the question of inner pain propels us to refocus research on the psychic transition towards agency, as contrasted to acquiescing in an outlook of passivity and recourse to innumerable anaesthetics. We believe that in psychoanalysis we can gain a microscopic view of inner phenomena and also a back-stage perspective of our vicissitudes. Yet, the paradox we must endure is that a strong need to believe, and a complementary need to question ourselves radically, may be our best hope for the pursuit of research on psychic suffering.
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