Hysteria TodayHysteria, one of the most diagnosed conditions in human history, is also one of the most problematic. Can it even be said to exist at all?
Since the earliest medical texts people have had something to say about ‘feminine complaints’. Over the centuries, theorisations of the root causes have lurched from the physiological to the psychological to the socio-political. Thanks to its dual association with femininity and with fakery, the notion of hysteria inevitably provokes questions about women, men, sex, bodies, minds, culture, happiness and unhappiness.
To some, it may seem extraordinary that such a contested diagnosis could continue to merit any mention whatsoever. Surely we all now know better. Nonetheless, after being discarded by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952, it has continued to make its appearance, not least in later editions of the DSM, in the form of ‘hysterical neurosis (conversion type)’ or craftily rebranded as ‘histrionic personality disorder’. In contrast with the old-fashioned cliché of the cantankerous malingerer, Jacques Lacan has associated the hysteric with the scientist and seeker after truth. Hysteria Today is a collection of essays whose purpose is to reopen the case for hysteria and to see what relevance, if any, the term may have within contemporary clinical practice.
"The hysteric's questions 'What do I want? What do others want from me? What is my place in society?' are emerging with a vengeance in our neo-liberal times. Social changes and new technologies are shaping the neurotic symptoms people suffer from. This collection of essays finally gives us important insight into the way the malaise of civilization affects the malaise of the individual and vice versa. To understand hysteria today is an important step in figuring out social and political deadlocks in contemporary life. Anyone who is trying to understand why there is so much unhappiness in times that glorify choice, efficiency and satisfaction, should dive into this important book." Renata Salecl, Birkbeck College, London, author of The Tyranny of Choice
"This is an essential book for anyone interested in the ways we all struggle with language. Every writer in this dazzling, scholarly collection of essays has taught me something new about how hysteria continues to haunt the 21st century. Hysteria, like subjectivity, did not die in the 1890s. Hysteria is dead! Long live hysteria!" Deborah Levy, author of Swimming Home (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize)
'An excellent resource for anyone who is interested in hysteria or psychoanalysis.' Kathryn Lafferty, BMJ Blogs.
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Anouchka Grose, Darian Leader, Anne Worthington and others discussing psychoanalysis at the Freud Museum...
Jonas BurgertJonas Burgert
Published by Walther König, Köln, 2016
Edited by Jess Fletcher and Christine Albrecht. Texts by Will Self and Anouchka Grose.
This publication highlights the figurative and representational work of German painter Jonas Burgert (born 1969). Burgert is known for monumental paintings in which crowds of ghostly characters mingle and converge, as well as for his pointed use of bright colors among otherwise natural tones.
No More Silly Love SongsPortobello Books, 2010
**** Metro, Sharon Lougher, January 2010
In the words of Wet Wet Wet, love is all around us – and its mindboggling complexity and influence is the subject of this broad-ranging new book from psychoanalyst Anouchka Grose, whose ponderings run from pop culture to the ancient Greek philosophers via psychology and science.
On one level we’re in self-help territory, as Grose’s framework is to wonder what one can expect from love in a society where anything goes.
But she’s something of a humourist, too, and delivers some effortlessly engaging prose.
Her analysis comes with a satisfyingly cynical edge informed by her own unlucky-in-love experiences and the hopelessness of her analytical case studies.
She compares Freud to Leonard Cohen when it comes to articulating thoughts about love and, in a particularly enjoyable instance, links a train of thought from a 400-yearold clam to Elizabeth Taylor.
Indeed, there’s nothing sentimental or cloying about this Realist's Guide to Romance, which should make refreshing reading as we approach the hysteria of Valentine’s Day.
Are You Considering Therapy?Karnac Books, September 2011
Are You Considering Therapy? is a guidebook for people who are thinking about going into therapy but aren’t quite sure where to start. It looks at the various aspects of choosing a therapist, from sorting through the numerous types of treatment on offer, to deciding whether an individual practitioner is someone you might want to work with.
The book not only explains the differences between a psychiatrist, a psychotherapist and a psychologist, but also gives some sense of the sorts of things that might happen in a session — as well as looking at the many and varied notions of ‘cure’. For example, while a behavioural counsellor might make it their mission to rid you of your symptom as quickly as possible, a Lacanian psychoanalyst may consider it their ethical duty to see you through an experience of subjective destitution. (The book would also explain what on earth this means.)
Are You Considering Therapy? aims to treat all therapies equally, and to allow readers to make their own choices about what might suit them. As well as outlining different treatments, the book explores the possibilities of going into therapy one-to-one, with a child or partner, or with a group. It tries to be as light-hearted as possible about this serious and often anxiety-provoking process, and to speak straightforwardly about a notoriously unstraightforward field.
Cover illustration by Daisy de Villeneuve
"In Are You Considering Therapy?, Anouchka Grose leads us through the forests of available treatments, from the original theories of Freud, Jung, and fellow psychoanalysts to the proliferating schools of modern therapy. Grose writes with concision, with knowledge and balance, and what is a happy surprise in this territory of mind-control, she possesses an unbiased and delightful wit. An enjoyable read and a trustworthy map to all the new and newest therapies! At last!" --Irma Kurtz, Agony Aunt, Cosmopolitan
Ringing For YouRinging For You, a love story with interruptions
Harper Collins, 1999
Click here for Time Magazine review
Darling DaisyDarling Daisy
Harper Collins, 2000