Learn to Forget

I’ve contributed a chapter to this book; it’s called Learn to Forget: a Nietzschean Revaluation of Forgetting in Psychotherapy. It is published by Routledge.

The book presents counter-traditional perspectives on existential practice and theory written by clinicians and theorists who are critical of the ways in which existential therapies have slumbered under the weight of evidence based conformity and received orthodoxy.

In my chapter I use case material in which I didn’t know the name of a client for over a year, I demonstrate the therapeutic value of Nietzsche’s ‘active forgetting’ by contrasting it’s lightness with the gravity of a more orthodox Freudian ideas about forgetting.

Taking Nietzsche’s creditor/debtor relationship as a template for the therapeutic relationship I reframe this conflict as primarily moral rather than qualitative. I demonstrate how understanding the nature of our moral differences freed me (and him) from the perceived debt he believed I owed him.

I conclude by showing how the rupture and revaluation of forgetting facilitated an invigoration of our work together.  In doing so I set out a counter-intuitive revaluation of forgetting as an intentional therapeutic intervention and as an essential component for mental wellbeing and creativity.

The editor has described the chapter as ‘Unassumingly formidable.’

To order a copy click: Routledge