Excerpts from


Stephen Potter


Lifemen have not been backward in the counter-attack: and those of us whose job it is to deal with this kind of thing possess, as some readers will know, a certain top floor room not a hundred miles from Wimpole Street where we are setting up our school – openly lay – of psycho-synthesis. LET US RESTORE YOUR INHIBITIONS is our phrase. SUBLIMATE WITH US. WE can put back the Hamlet into YOU.

PSYCHO-SYNTHESIS IN WELBECK STREET (diagram). Note the couch, which can be easily adapted from the old psycho-analyst’s couch or tentade. The ‘psycho’ himself (A) is, of course, the reclining figure. The patient is, or should be, striding from B to B2 and, of course, back.

Our workers in Wimpole Street make it perfectly clear that they are not qualified physicians. That they are not recognized by the Medical Council. That they are unattached to any hospital or clinic. We do not prescribe. We do not even advise. All we want you to do is to talk, and talk guardedly. Never mention the first thing that comes into your head. It will seem strange at first to the old-fashioned patient to find the psycho-synthesist lying relaxed on the couch while he the patient will be encouraged to walk up and down feverishly. You are suffering from a suppressed and thwarted conscious. Give intellectual self-criticism free rein.

A charge of a few guineas is made for each visit. The first treatment is bi-weekly for six months. At the end of this period it is normal and natural to hate, and indeed loathe, your synthesist. This is a sign that the thing is working, but that the treatment should continue until the patient gets out of the Dislike Phase.

The natural antagonists of all Lifemen, or shall I call them ‘friendly enemies’ of the lifeplay, are the psycho-analysts. They have their own organization, their own literature, their own terminology. Lifemen have always recognized the value of their ‘psycho-analytic look’ for stopping conversation. Now Lifemen have a chance to hit back.



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Stephen Potter, Lifemanship, 1950

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