Psychoanalysis and Liberation: An Application

The impossible profession and its possible outcomes formulated in 60 experiences in a nutshell

Maaike Engelen


This piece lists, in an evocative way, how the author hopes that psychoanalysis may contribute to liberation.






After being analysed one might hope to be able:

  1. To love unconditionally
  2. To use one’s potential creativity to the fullest
  3. To be self confident and genuine in one’s relationships
  4. To be able to bear differences without having to persecute or punish
  5. To accept that one might have to fight against injustice done
  6. To recognize and acknowledge one’s flaws
  7. Not to be paralysed in the face of judgemental analysis
  8. To be one’s own person without having to deprive others
  9. To be separate from one’s parents view of you
  10. To stand alone
  11. To be able to bear existential loneliness
  12. To act with selflessness
  13. To give without expectation to receive back
  14. To follow one’s dreams and heart
  15. To be non compliant
  16. To be sincere and kind in relationships
  17. To be spontaneous and in touch with the unknown
  18. To trust one’s intuition and one’s unconscious
  19. To understand that genuine madness is fruitful
  20. To be able to work playfully and love one’s work
  21. To be able to be sad and disappointed
  22. To be able to feel holy anger and express it
  23. To understand that splitting is the essential of life
  24. To understand that splitting is part of growth
  25. To understand that splitting is part of love, creativity and friendships
  26. To understand that pain is unavoidable in understanding oneself and others
  27. To be able to forgive injustice done without settling for it
  28. To be able to start anew every day
  29. To be able to live in the moment without having to define oneself
  30. To be able to understand and live according the insight that the whole is more than the sum of its parts
  31. To be able to see oneself separate from one’s understanding of oneself
  32. To be able to separate from history and determinism
  33. To be able to understand and live according the insight that one cannot generalise over facts
  34. To be able to understand that being with another person includes taking risks
  35. To be able to be vulnerable and make mistakes
  36. To be able to take risks and learn from the other
  37. To stop persecuting oneself and others
  38. To be in touch with one’s understanding of oneself against all odds.
  39. To trust others and oneself
  40. Not to have to be moralistic
  41. Not to have to be dogmatic but being able to stand for one’s view.
  42. To be able to be flexible and have a sense of humour towards failings of oneself, others and life.
  43. To be able to be spiritual and believe if one wishes so.
  44. To be able to understand and act upon one’s sexuality.
  45. To be able to accept insecurity and uncertainty.
  46. To understand that the need of one’s children come before one’s own needs
  47. To allow one’s children to be ungrateful
  48. To allow one’s children to be different from oneself and rebel against authoritarian arguments about what is best for them. As one dares to do oneself as well
  49. To understand that there is a narcissistic need to flourish and cherish it as much in oneself, one’s children and others
  50. To abstain from masochistic and sadistic relationship impulses and understand them within oneself and others
  51. To resist becoming institutionalised
  52. To resist living out of the mental sphere that projects lack and fear; this encourages competitiveness, greed and egotism
  53. To understand that if one shares there will be enough for every one
  54. To understand that rules are there to be broken for the good if necessary
  55. To understand that boundaries are essential but not absolute
  56. To understand that one’s life is one’s own
  57. To understand that the unconscious is endless, timeless, limitless and amoral
  58. To understand that being in touch with the unconscious is rejuvenating and the fountain of wisdom and birth
  59. To understand that evil has to be faced but not feared
  60. To understand that this list is endless

April 2015

Contributor details

Maaike Engelen is a psychoanalytic child and adolescent psychotherapist in private practice. She publishes poetry and collaborates in international art projects. She is amongst other things interested in developing a writing style that reflects upon clinical work in a non- academic or non-alienating manner.

(Published in: Empedocles – European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication, vol. 6.2 (2015), pp. 195-194.)