Confronting Mortal Threat

Confronting Mortal Threat

Unconscious Processes in the Face of Death

Recorded Saturday 5 September 2020

Dr Richard Gipps, Professor Paul Hoggett, Dr Merav Roth and Dr Estela Welldon – chaired by Anouchka Grose

CPD Credits: 5 hours

As the pandemic has brought us all face to face with death, either in reality or in the imagination, we will be talking about how the mind negotiates this gross affront to our sense of survival. The sudden risk of catching a fatal illness brings out some extraordinary capacities, such as adaptation, connection, altruism, but it also amplifies the deepest fear we may have of ceasing to exist.

This conversation is about what we notice about the human responses to mortal threat, what these tell us about unconscious processes, defense mechanisms and the internal scenarios that we create in order to live with that fate.



Dr Richard Gipps
Being Philosophical About It
To be “philosophical” or “stoical” is to remain calm and able to think in the face of adversity. But how have the philosophers suggested we achieve this? And how can their deliberations be drawn on in the consulting room without therapy degrading into intellectual discussion? In this talk Richard will discuss the relation of six virtues – the cultivation of healthy pride (dignity), the development of ego strength (inner courage), amor fati (acquiescence to fate), the will to power (determination), receptivity to grace (the cultivation of gratitude), and seeing life sub specie aeternitatis (the bigger picture) – to the “philosophical” life. Of particular importance for therapeutic practice is th