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Mcmahon, B. (2002). Madness in Ancient Ireland. Brit. J. Psychother., 18(3):367-380.

(2002). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 18(3):367-380

Celtic Myth and Psychoanalysis

Madness in Ancient Ireland

Brendan Mcmahon

My purpose in this paper is to examine a number of traditional Irish narratives, whose primary concern is with psychosis, and to compare and contrast them with psychoanalytic narratives of the same phenomenon. While suggestive parallels are discovered, the Irish texts privilege phenomenology over aetiology, and emphasize the communal and interpersonal aspects of psychosis rather than the intrapersonal. These perspectives might usefully be incorporated into the psychoanalytic model.

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