Stories from the Bog

On Madness, Philosophy, and Psychoanalysis

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This collection of short stories and essays call into question the medical-scientific narrative, its understandings of psychoanalysis and madness, and the identity, purpose and ethics that flow from and sustain its narrative. These stories are gathered from meetings with people on in-patient units and in private practice. Emphasis is placed on the centrality of the Freudian unconscious in the process of listening, understanding and responding in the analytic discourse. Collectively, they reintroduce the identity of the analytic practitioner as the shaman of contemporary times, a mind-poet who sees the world through a magical –as opposed to a scientific- visionary experience.

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Patrick Kavanaugh, Ph.D. is the founding president of the Academy for the Study of the Psychoanalytic Arts, and is a former president of the International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education and the Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. He is a former director of clinical training at the University of Detroit-Mercy. Currently, he is in private practice in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
”Those familiar with Kavanaugh’s unique voice will enjoy this compilation of his clinical and theoretical works, in which a master storyteller and master clinician offers a unique view of psychoanalytic work as an evolving process through which meanings can be made and manifested. Those not familiar with his work are in for a treat. In an era in which scientism and constricting standards threaten to squeeze the life out of psychoanalytic theory and practice, Kavanaugh is a refreshing voice, reminding us of the richness and importance of this work and of the being-in-it-together that is the sine qua non of psychoanalysis.” in: DIVISION/Review - a publication of Division 39 (the Division of Psychoanalysis of the APA) , December 2012
“… by all means pick up this book and consider recommending it to colleagues. I did.” in: PsycCRITIQUES November 21, 2012, Vol. 57, Release 46, Article 7
“Patrick Kavanaugh shares with us his rich and original vision of psychoanalysis as gift, a science of subjectivity, and an art form, providing us with a profound philosophical and mystical foundation, guiding us to an understanding of mental and emotional states found in what Kavanaugh understands as the truth of the “bog” … The bog is Kavanaugh’s metaphor – and reality – describing states of being that wander between, and deep into, madness and sanity... his mesmerizing, compelling, engaging spinning of tales rich in a depth understanding of unconscious process and the interaction between analyst and analysand … Read and be inspired.” in: Other/Wise, Vol. 9, Winter 2012
“With a wry humour and piercing intellect, Dr. Kavanaugh’s Stories from the Bog…, evokes the Celtic legacy of story-telling in psychoanalysis.” – David L. Downing
“A scintillating book that dances on edges of the human mind. At once, challenging, reflective and enriched by details of therapeutic work.” – Michael Eigen, author of Contact with the Depths
“Dr. Kavanaugh captures the essence of the psychoanalytic enterprise ... this book is a work of psychoanalytic art by one of its most creative practitioners.”
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Stories From the Bog: On the Underworld, the Underconsciousness, and the Undertaking
The Dead Poets Society: Ventures into a Radioactive Psychoanalytic Space
Frankenstein’s Genie-ology: The Magical Visionary Experience and the Associative Method
An Ethic of Free Association: Questioning a Uniform and Coercive Code of Ethics
Wang Fo and an Ethic of Free Association: Poetic Imagination, Mythical Stories, and Moral Philosophy
The Dramatic Meaning of Madness in Psycho(analy)sis: The Ear-Rationality of Treating Illusion as Reality
Escaping the Phantom’s Ghostly Grasp: On Psychoanalysis as a Performance Art in the Spirit World
A Fractured Fairy Tale: The Story of Our Professional Lives in the Kingdom of Positivism
Developing Competency in the Destruction of Psychoanalysis: An Other Approach
How Will Bodies of Knowledge(s) Speak the Psychoanalytic Practitioner of the 21st Century? On Madness, Shamans and the Psychoanalytic Arts