Leaving Analysis

A Year Finding Freud, Rediscovering the Sacred
Release Date: 11/22/2022
Atmosphere Press

In her last twelve months of psychoanalysis, Nicola Mendenhall explores the spiritual awakening that this allegedly secular technique has given rise to.

During her more than ten years in classical psychoanalysis, Nicola had barely questioned the commonly held belief that Freud shunned spirituality. This fixed concept led to her feeling that analysis, while it had radically changed her life for the better, ignored her heart and soul. Now, as the therapeutic relationship neared its end, she began opening to the possibility that Freud understood her desire more than she previously thought.

While reading Leaving Analysis, we learn how psychoanalytic techniques provide freedom from projections, defenses, and fixed concepts. We discover, along with the author, how similar this freedom is to that promised by Buddhism and shamanism.


Slowing down time, transitioning below the surface, saying yes to expression, telling the truth. These were the experiences that drove me to pursue psychoanalysis and writing.

 When I stumbled upon Laurie Wagner’s Wild Writing technique, I was surprised at how reminiscent the practice felt to my time on the analytical couch: I was accessing the unconscious. I Ionged to work closely with Laurie, so I signed up for her teacher training, not dreaming that becoming a certified teacher, would allow me to return to helping people go deep as I did for three decades as a practicing psychotherapist.

 I am pleased to offer you this technique that I believe will help you live more connected to life, restoring your faith in the bravery needed to be a whole person. This group practice is designed to enable you to write past your defenses, discover your blind spots, and recognize long-held patterns that interfere with relationship.

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