R. D. Laing: Of Scientism, Spirit, Madness, and the Healing Genius of Relationship

by William Stranger image

R. D. Laing’s disciples are mounting a determined effort to reintroduce his ideas to our culture. I delivered the first part of this paper at their most recent R. D. Laing in the 21st Century Symposium, held at the Esalen Institute in August, 2016. Mad To Be Normal, a movie about Laing’s life and work starring David Tennant, has just been released.


Faith and Disillusionment: An Interview with Dr. Michael Eigen

Michael Eigen is widely acknowledged to be the finest, most profound psychoanalytic writer of our time. In a review of one of Dr. Eigen’s works, Christopher Bollas writes:  “Eigen has not only assimilated the works of his intellectual tradition, they have traveled a dense journey into his unconscious and returned in the form of spontaneous original thinking, as rare as the authors he admires.  Do we know of any one who writes like an evocative amalgam of William Blake, Mark Twain, Freud, and Raymond Chandler?  Eigen’s voice is unique; his vision is singular yet embracing, his mysticism is of this earth yet transcendent, and each of his chapters is a wonderful ‘spot in time’.” Dr. Michael Eigen is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Post Doctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University, and Senior Member of the National Psychological Association of Psychoanalysis. He is also the editor of the Psychoanalytic Review.

Dr.Michael Eigen was interviewed in September 2006 by New York Institute for Psychotherapy Training (NYIPT) faculty and supervisor, Dr. Regina Monti.  Dr. Eigen has a relationship with respected NYIPT going back to the 1970’s when he was a teacher and supervisor at the New Hope Guild.

by Bill Stranger [August 09 2014]

Sparks of Light : Faith, Hope and R.D. Laing

image R.D. Laing was an iconic figure of the sixties. Unconventional, controversial, and undeniably brilliant, how people viewed him then— or remember him now — is itself a kind of historical rorschach test. Since his death, in 1989, he has been praised, plagiarized, imitated, vilified, and increasingly forgotten. Dan Burston, perhaps Laing’s most astute biographer, thinks it important that we remember him.

by Bill Stranger [September 15 2008]

Nondualism in the Clinic: Can Psychotherapy Help Two People Find the One Reality?

image Transpersonal psychology—the umbrella term for psychotherapies that view human beings as more than just skin-encapsulated egos—has greatly expanded the scope of human psychology. In his review “The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy”, a pioneering anthology about the application of nondualist spiritual views in the clinical circumstance, transpersonal psychologist D. B. Sleeth wonders if some practitioners are overreaching.

by Bill Stranger [February 23 2008]
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