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Leader, C. (2011). Therapy Culture and the Transitional Environment of Media and the Inner World. Free Associations, 12(2):175-187.

(2011). Free Associations, 12(2):175-187

Therapy Culture and the Transitional Environment of Media and the Inner World

Carol Leader

The Media and the Inner World research network is an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded network that challenges academics, media practitioners and therapists to build an interdisciplinary approach towards popular culture. In this paper, I take the theme of the opening symposium, Therapy Culture, and reiterate the need for psychotherapists to engage with reflection on the dynamics of mass cultural life. Such engagement is vital for clinical work and also in order to offer an informed response to the outer world, not least, the critical work of the sociologist Frank Furedi. I contrast the picture of therapy drawn by Furedi with the actual theory and clinical practice of psychotherapists and analysts. Particular reference is made to the work of the child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. I emphasise an important distinction in Winnicott's psychoanalysis, between the creative use of fantasy, which is fundamentally important for the development of mind, and fantasying which keeps the mind stultified and unable to fully engage in society.

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