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Nelson, B. (1958-1959). Adventures in Ideas: Questions on Existential Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Rev., 45D(4):77-78.

(1958-1959). Psychoanalytic Review, 45D(4):77-78

Adventures in Ideas: Questions on Existential Psychotherapy

Benjamin Nelson, Ph.D.

The establishment of an open forum for the discussion of noteworthy approaches to the understanding of man and culture has been repeatedly declared to be the prime purpose of this Department. Though its editor reserves the right frankly to express his agreement or disagreement with any proposal on the basis of the available evidence, he does not pretend to be sole arbiter of what may be felt to be deserving of public consideration.

In this spirit, the Department is pleased to present the address of the now-famed founder of the so-called method of Daseinsanalyse, Professor Ludwig Binswanger, to the International Congress for Psychotherapy held at Zurich in the Summer of 1954. A full review of the issues Professor Binswanger poses must wait upon closer study of the numerous theoretical and clinical materials from his pen which have issued from the press in the past two decades-his Grundformen und Erkenntnis menschlichen Daseins (1942), Ausgewählte Vorträge und Aufsätze (2 Vols., 1947-1955), Drei Formen missglückten Daseins (1956), Der Mensch in der Psychiatrie (1958), above all, his reports of the cases of “Suzanne Urban” and “Ellen West.”

Fortunately, an impressive introduction to the entire field of phenomenological psychiatry and existential psychotherapy has just been made available under the title Existence, edited by Rollo May, Ernest Angel, and Henry F. Ellenberger and published under the imprint of Basic Books in New York City. All three parts of this work merit the most careful examination by anyone concerned to discover exactly how Binswanger's Daseinsanalyse contributes to the understanding and relief of the entanglements of men in the contemporary world.

The present writer will not attempt now to render a verdict on the claims and evidences of the leaders and spokesmen of phenomenological psychiatry and existential psychoanalysis. He wishes simply at this time to raise some of the questions that occurred to him in the course of browsing through Binswanger's writings:

1.   To

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