Radical Intimacy: Psychoanalysis in the Internet Age

Roger Bacon


Psychoanalysis is nothing if not a highly focussed and concentrated field of intimate, personal and social relating. But in its self-understanding and self-definition, and in its canonical basic techniques, it has often seemed like an island of unchanging and unchangeable forms, impervious to the raging seas of radical upheaval in which it is embedded. Obviously being surrounded by such radical changes can be terrifying, producing a desperate clinging to the old orthodoxies. But it can also be an opportunity for stripping off a carapace of forms and dogmas to (re-)find a central core of truths with which to engage and understand, and to challenge, the changing world.

            My aim in this paper is to attempt one bit of this dual task of both confronting the changing social and intimate milieu, and seeing what this might reveal of the core nature of psychoanalytic practice. I will do this through my reading of three books: Michael Briant’s Psychotherapy, Ethics and Society: Another Kind of Conversation (2018); Norwegian Journalist, Asne Seierstad’s One of Us (2015); and the American Sociologist and Psychologist, Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together (2017). Each of these, in different but complementary, ways seek to push us to re-think and re-state certain fundamental understandings about relating intimately and therapeutically to others in our modern age, and how to mitigate or resist some of the more dangerous or pernicious effects of the radical changes these authors describe.


psychoanalysis, internet, theory, philosophy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1234/fa.v0i79.344

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