Michael Guy Thompson, PhD,
is a psychoanalyst who worked with R.D. Laing for many years. He continues to work with extreme states, and has been training therapists for more than 30 years. His books include The Death of Desire: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness.
One of R. D. Laing’s most seminal influences was the existential philosophical tradition, especially Sartre, Heidegger and Nietzsche. The core principle that binds these disparate thinkers together is the concept of authenticity. There is no better term to characterize Dr. Laing’s ethical approach to clinical intervention. We will devote our five days together to exploring what it means to be authentic. What is the relationship between authenticity and ethics? The self? Happiness? Can the search for authenticity drive us mad, or make us sane?