posthumanist therapy : what it isn’t

Friday, 18 November 2016

An old art school trick : Sometimes it’s easier to say what something is not than to say what it is. And sometimes it’s necessary to begin there. Or maybe you need to know what posthumanism is?

Thinking about yesterday I thought, I should say, before anything else, that posthumanist therapy is not a form of psychotherapy. I am not a psychotherapist or a psychologist or a psychiatrist. I’ve studied psychology and different forms of psychotherapy and family therapy and I have a qualification in narrative therapy from a legitimate university but this is different. This is something I am creating from scratch.

I am not a teacher. I am not offering a product and there are no clients or stakeholders. There will be no customer satisfaction survey. I am not a service provider and I charge no fees. Neither is it an entertainment.

I make no promises that you are going to feel ‘better’ as a result of talking with me. I am not even sure that I should call it therapy. What it is, first and foremost, what we are going to be doing is having a conversation - or to be more precise, to engage in a conversation. It will be, as far as we are able to imagine what posthumanism could mean, a posthumanist conversation - and this conversation may have a therapeutic effect, it may enter a therapeutic space. I am open to that possibility and if it so happens that we are both open to that, it is possible that the conversation may have a therapeutic effect, but what we are there to do together is to talk about what is real, what matters - and what is possible.

The world is broken, humanity is broken. And we either need to admit that it’s a failure and give up and cease reproducing and allow the human race as a whole to become extinct - or we need to work out a way fix it. And the solution, if there is one, needs to be secular and it needs to be ethical. That is why I think therapy is necessary, because we are all broken, dysfunctional in some way. And to fix that we need to engage in a conversation together.

So I think humanity as a whole needs therapy but it may be difficult to imagine how we can do that. We can only begin by talking together individually, one to one, although I am happy to work with couples or groups too. I think we should all learn how to ‘do therapy’ if that’s what we’re calling it. That’s the only way I can see how we may be able to fix humanity and how it works, one human at a time.

When I said to someone I was working with in Kraków, I could teach you how to do therapy in two weeks! she said, I’m in!

Maybe later, there is a lot to be done first, not the least of which is finding the right words to explain all this.

Shall we begin?