02 November 2005

Schiller & Psychotherapy

A unique seminar, conducted by PROFESSOR NIGEL REEVES OBE, Professor of German, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Aston University, co-author (with Kenneth Dewhurst) of Friedrich Schiller: Medicine, Psychology and Literature (1978).

Sunday 6 November 2005, 10 a.m -- 1 p.m.
Meeting Room A, Acland Building, Regent's College, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London NW1 4NS
Cost: £5

It is not widely known that, as well as being one of Germany's greatest poets and playwrights, and a formidable historian, theoretician of art and poetry, and philosopher of freedom, Schiller practised psychotherapy. His early case study, 'On Grammont's Melancholy', and other important contributions to psychology, psychotherapy and psychosomatics, are translated in Professor Reeves's book. Both Freud and Jung repeatedly wrote of Schiller as an inspiration for their theory and practice. He influenced Freud's theory of drives and his writings on sentimental and naive poetry was developed by Jung in his theory of psychological types. Freud paid tribute to Schiller for having anticipated the practice of relaxing critical consciousness for 'free association'. Schiller anticipated Binswanger's thinking on 'existential Gestalt'; his 'play instinct' looks forward to Huizinga's and Winnicott's theories of play; and his account of a meditative mountain climb in his poem 'Der Spaziergang' probably inspired the structure of Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams.

In Sunday's seminar, Professor Reeves will discuss, among other things, Schiller's management of, and thinking on, Grammont's melancholy; his wide-ranging contributions to psychology; and his intentional writing of his drama as a psychotherapy for his audience. There will be a discussion in the afternoon, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Professor Reeves's presentation.

Apply to Anthony Stadlen; Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857; E-mail: stadlen@aol.com