Is psycho-analysis or psychotherapy meant for responding to anxiety? What about philosophy? The essence of the two is in facing crisis, is it not? My speculations seeking for the encounter with philosophy, especially Chinese philosophy in this year’s annual conference is right here.
From the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the Great East Japan Earthquake and yet again the Kumamoto Earthquake which brought on us another hidden impact, how far have we been able to come in responding to our crisis. On the other hand, in our daily lives depression and Hikikomori have widely spread, abuse involved with the decay of family function, scape-goating in schools and organizations are ever-worsening. Including medication, counseling, social skill training and social support, coping with anxiety is variously evolving but there is a necessity to question if the essence has been excluded or not. Last year I had the chance to participate on the spot where a Chinese philosopher, who intervenes to self-destructive behavior of an individual, was aggressively pressing forward the development of counseling. There was far more sense of reality “to face and cope with the crisis in the here and now” which is different to coping with anxiety, than there is in the Japanese society. To me, it feels as though, even if we see the anxiety we have become too familiar to avoid the crisis before the threat of death. This is my actual sense in my daily practice and the reality of mega disaster response of East Japan to Kumamoto.
Needless to say, the value of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy is in the work of clinical practice. The origin of clinical practice is in approaching the crisis of death, so the essence of the work must be in the crisis. If we pass our thoughts to the poisoned chalice of Socrates, Confucius in the Age of Warring States, and Zhuang-zi who preached chaos, there is no need to say that philosophy is an accumulation of knowledge that has been challenging crisis.
Physics has made clear that energy spreads in particles and waves. The energy of destruction is as well. Our world of modern man is now exposed to the waves of destruction. If we are to place our hope on the ideal discussions we are in crisis of being swallowed up by the wave. Philosophy is resistant to the wave of society. Psychoanalysis is resistant to the particle of society and individual dynamics. It is our mission, of IADP which has the foundation on psychoanalytic psychotherapy, to explore the creative dynamics to transform the energy from destruction to production, in thus crisis of this world and the crisis of the individual who are at their mercy in the swell.
The land where we had our annual conference last year had shook and the building of Kumamoto University that was our venue was hit by the destructive energy. Leaders taking on the leadership to overcome the crisis of Kumamoto, from Miyagi and Fukushima facing the threat of exposure to radiation and PTSD from the Great East Japan Earthquake, from New York that experienced the 9.11, and philosophers who take action from China gather at our 22nd annual conference. Let’s gather our power of crisis clinical work in this era of crisis and of daily practice, and of philosophy that does not step back against the enormous wave of crisis, at Komaba campus of the University of Tokyo. To change our present and future by sharing the dynamic which transfer crisis to creation.
International Association of Dynamic Psychotherapy, President
Hidefumi Kotani, Ph.D. CGP