Daseinsanalysis - the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic school of thought founded by Ludwig Binswanger and Medard Boss in the 1940s - had a huge impact on the development of existential therapies in the English-speaking world. This highly stimulating and lucid book gives a critical overview of the daseinsanalytic concepts of Binswanger and Boss and explains their key differences despite the common reference to Freudian psychoanalysis and the Heideggerian philosophy from which daseinsanalysis took its name. The author gives a systematic account of a new approach to mental suffering based on Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Sartre that never loses sight of Freud's fundamental insight into the hidden meaning of apparently senseless neurotic symptoms. She goes on to demonstrate that mental suffering is a 'suffering from our own being' and the mentally suffering patient is an individual overwhelmed by frightening experiences of the finitude and frailty of the human condition that can neither be suppressed nor tolerated.
Finally, the author considers the therapeutic implications of the existential view of mental suffering and concludes that Freud's three technical rules provide the optimal conditions for understanding and engaging with these baffling existential experiences.
Publisher: Free Association Books