The interest in mentalization as a concept has been steadily on the rise over the last decades. Mentalization and mentalization-based theory aimed at collecting different schools of thought and years of research, and by doing that has succeeded in describing complex phenomena in relation to interaction between people – both when it is successful and when high emotional arousal prevents the ability to mentalize.
In her foreword of my book, Edna O’Shaughnessy says ‘that the psychoanalytic method does not keep insanity out of view, but tries to offer madness a habitat for human understanding’. In this book I have tried to demonstrate how psychoanalytic thinking can make ‘Room for Madness in Mental Health’. One of the issues the book tries to address is the challenge of madness – both that which is identifiable as being madness and also madness that is disguised.
I thought long and hard about what to write for Karnacology regarding my book, Clinical Dicta and Contra Dicta and kept struggling how to introduce a book that, even though I wrote still do not fully know how to describe it. So I thought I would write a clinical vignette that may offer the reader a glimpse into the clinical vignettes in the book.
One flew into the cuckoo’s nest—but how do we help them get out? We are all familiar with the usual images of the film and many of us have worked in mental health units and found wanting the knowledge base we have been presented with to help patients recover from mental ill health and get out of ‘the nest’ (hospital).
As Karnac Books republish four key works by the pioneering clinical psychologist, his son Alastair reflects on his achievement.
When my father died just over a year ago, the family was unsure what to do with his books. He had said he would like them published on the internet for free; either that or left alone. We did not have the capacity to post them on the internet, although David had put many articles and an internet publication on his website: www.davidsmail.info. The reaction to his death, as for example in The Guardian obituary persuaded us that we needed to do something.
A popular but dated image of pilots probably derives from war movies showing scenes in which they wrestle with the controls of a damaged aircraft to avoid catastrophe. Modern aviation is far removed from what are now outdated Hollywood depictions of pilots. Wrestling at the controls to save the aircraft is hardly in a day’s work. Planes now fly via computers following the calm and well-rehearsed inputs from pilots. The recent Germanwings pilot suicide crash, however, highlights that there are a rare few pilots who do not wrestle with the flight controls to save their aircraft, but they may wrestle with very powerful and destructive forces within their minds.