Martin Heidegger’s Impact on Psychotherapy is the first comprehensive presentation in English of the background, theory and practice of Daseinsanalysis, the analysis of human existence. It is the work of the co-founding member of a radical re-envisioning of psychoanalysis initiated by the work of the Swiss psychiatrist, Medard Boss (1903-1990). Originally published in 1998, this new edition of Gion Condrau’s (1919-2006) book acquaints new generations of psychotherapists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts with an alternative to psychodynamic, humanistic and existential forms of the therapy of the word that is currently experience a renaissance of interest, especially in the United States and the UK.
The volume presents the basic ideas of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) that made possible this unique approach to psychotherapy. It is arranged in sections on (1) the foundations of Daseinsanalysis in Heidegger’s thought, (2) understanding psychopathology, (3) daseinsanalytic psychotherapy in practice, (4) working with the dying person, and (5) the preparation of the professional Daseinsanalyst. Several extended cases are presented to illustrate daseinsanalytic practice at work (narcissistic personality disorder and obsessive compulsive personality disorder). Since dreaming and dream life are central to Daseinsanalysis, a number of dreams are analyzed from its perspective.
Daseinsanalysis originated as a form of psychoanalysis and retains a number of its features: free association, optional use of the couch, and attention to dreams. It differs from psychoanalysis by abandoning the natural science perspective which understands human experience and behavior in terms of causality. Instead, human existence is seen to be utterly different from every other kind of sentient animalife. Taking a phenomenological perspective, Daseinsanalysis is based on letting the existence of the human being in all his or her uniqueness show itself. In practice, Daseinsanalysis avoids intervening in the life of the person in favor of maximizing the conditions in which existence can come into its own with maximum freedom.