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Glenn Nicholls Counselling & Psychotherapy in Cambridge & London

Writing. re-visioning existential analysis

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. My chapter demonstrates the therapeutic value of Nietzsche’s ‘active forgetting’ by contrasting it’s lightness with the gravity of the more orthodox psychoanalytic/psychodynamic 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 my chapter as ‘Unassumingly formidable.’


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