Psychoanalysis as a form of therapy works by attending to the patient's side effects, that is, 'what falls out of his pockets once he starts speaking'. Undergoing psychoanalytic treatment is in many ways like reading a powerful work of literature - a leap into the dark. It's impossible to know beforehand the effect it will have. All we can do, as the essays in this book suggest, is see where the side-effects will lead us. And that is part of the excitement of being alive.
As erudite, observant and eloquent as ever, Adam Phillips is the perfect guide for this fascinating journey into the links between psychoanalysis and literature.
Adam Phillips was born in Cardiff in 1954. He is the author of numerous works of psychotherapy and literary criticism, including Winnicott, On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored, Going Sane, Side Effects, On Kindness, co-written with Barbara Taylor, On Balance, Missing Out, One Way and Another and Becoming Freud. Phillips is a practising psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books, the Observer and the New York Times, and he is General Editor of the Penguin Modern Classics Freud translations. His new book, Unforbidden Pleasures, comes out in November 2015 and is published by Hamish Hamilton.