Dan Bristow is a psychoanalyst, training with the Philadelphia Association, an organisation founded by R. D. Laing in 1965, its name deriving from the Greek for 'brotherly love', and its main focuses coalescing around psychotherapy, philosophy, and community.
Dan's psychoanalytic approach takes its bearings primarily from the framework outlined by Jacques Lacan, whose project was to return to, and to rediscover the radical potential in, the work of Sigmund Freud, who founded a practice – psychoanalysis – which was dubbed the 'talking cure' by one of its first recipients.
What these strands combine to offer therapeutically is a safe space where anything – whatever someone might be finding troubling, aggravating, stifling, disturbing or fixating in whatever way – can be talked about, given time to, and worked through, sensitively and without judgement, in accordance with what it is that is desired from the psychoanalytic encounter, and in onward experience.
Knots played a fundamental role in the thinking of both Laing and Lacan. They were fascinated by the processes by which we are knotted into family and social relations; in which we make knots to tie up loose or frayed ends, or to pull ourselves together; through which we may get enmeshed and knotted up; and from which we can untie or loosen the knotty entanglements we may find ourselves in.
These are some of the knots, or links, featured in letters between Lacan and prominent French mathematicians working in the field of topology in the late 1970s.
Cambridge and Hampstead, London