Leaving Analysis

A Year Finding Freud, Rediscovering the Sacred


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.