“Why do people do what they do?” I’ve never found any question more interesting.  Maybe none of us can fully answer that question, but a lifetime of practice in psychiatry and psychoanalysis leads to a mountain of observations, hypotheses and explanations. Psychoanalysis is known as a treatment method–the classic “on the couch -4 times a week” in-depth exploration of one person’s inner life.  It is still a powerful clinical tool that is of great value when less intensive kinds of therapy fail to achieve adequate understanding and change. But psychoanalysis is also a compelling set of explanatory ideas that can reach far beyond the private office.  Human’s have an innate need to understand, to find meaning in the events they face in their lives.  Psychoanalytic understanding can often provide a depth of insight not available from any other perspective.  It’s a way of thinking that always looks at “what lies beneath”.

Good ideas need a public and the public needs good ideas.  I’ve been involved in encouraging and training my colleagues to see communicating with the public using psychoanalytic thinking as part of their identity as a psychoanalyst.  This involves learning skills that are not part of mental health training, and not part of the classical image of the neutral and remote psychoanalyst.

As part of a Knowledge Management project I began at the International Psychoanalytical Association, I created two tool kits for people who want to try out avenues for communicating with the public. Both are primers on ways to begin to develop a public voice.

Click here to see my Toolkit on Twitter Basics.

And here to see my Toolkit on Blogging.

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