Jun 012013
 
Repetition compulsion

Sigmund Freud wrote of the “repetition compulsion.” The technical definition, per Wikipedia, is the repetition of “a traumatic event or its circumstances over and over again.” We all know it, in form, if not in function: it’s the tendency to repeat painful experiences. It can be benign, as in the case of a man who […]

Mar 282013
 

There is one thing in life I fear more than anything else. One feeling worse than any other: the pang of rejection. It is, for me, bodily. In its anticipation, my heart quickens, my chest tightens, my shoulders hunch, I slouch, my solar plexus clenches. And that’s just in anticipation. If the rejection I fear […]

Mar 202013
 
Program note

I’ve drunk at the altar of Freud. Or, maybe more accurately, Freud is my bartender. I believe in the unconscious. Profoundly. I speak the language of psychoanalysis, in all of its weird, uncomfortable-making ways. I believe in the universality of Oedipus (not in the simplistic, every-boy-wants-to-fuck-his-mother sense, but in the more complex, every-child-learns-everything-s/he-knows-about-love-and-desire-primarily-through-her-or-his-relationships-with-her-or-his-parents sense). I […]

Feb 082013
 

If you’ve spent a lot of time in therapy (or maybe just if you pay attention to yourself a lot), you’re familiar with the following phenomenon: the situations, relationships, behaviors, which you tell yourself you most want to avoid, you most fear, dislike, etc., are, seemingly coincidentally, the things toward which you most frequently gravitate. […]