Analyst of the Imagination: The Life and Work of Charles Rycroft

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Jenny Pearson
Karnac, 2004 - Psychology - 258 pages
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"My hope is that this book will help to open up a new readership for [Charles Rycroft]--not a following, which is the last thing he would want, but an open-minded readership of people who want encouragement to go on thinking their own way through the deeply liberating experience of psychotherapy. There are plenty of people around who are willing to tell us what psychotherapy is, what happens or should happen between therapist and patient, what happens between mothers and babies and so on. There are not so many who encourage therapists to be in "uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason," in the words Charles liked to quote from the poet John Keats. This is the creative position, the one in which it is possible to go on asking the question "What is psychotherapy?" without necessarily finding an answer to it." -- From the Introduction

Charles Rycroft's lucid jargon-free approach to psychoanalysis inspired a whole generation. Taking inspiration from many fields outside psychoanalysis, including history, literature, linguistics and ethology, he established the important link between mental health and the imagination, creating a broader perspective and encouraging free thinking. This solitary and creative "rebel" rarely received the recognition he deserved, but this collection of articles and papers by people who felt the benefit of his ever-curious, expanding wealth of knowledge, goes some way to acknowledging the debt owed to him, and introducing a new generation to this innovative analyst.

Contributors include Margaret Arden, Harold Bourne, Susan Budd, Vincent Brome, Robin Higgins, Jeremy Holmes, Edgar Jones, R.D.Laing, John Padel, Jenny Pearson, Paul Roazen, Anthony Storr, John H.Turner, Maryon Tysoe and Dudley Young.

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About the author (2004)

Jenny Pearson read English at Bristol University and worked as a journalist on The Times in the 1960s, after which she became a freelance journalist, writer and editor. Her first book, co-written with Jack Lambert, was Adventure Playgrounds (1974). She is a contributing editor of Discovering the Self Through Drama and Movement: The Sesame Approach (1996). She has trained as a counsellor with WPF and as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with AIP. Her most recent book, co-edited with Frankie Armstrong, is about voice work and its effect on women's attitudes, entitled Well-Tuned Women: Growing Strong Through Voice Work (2000). She was married to Charles Rycroft from 1978 until his death in 1998.

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