Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology

Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology

Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology

Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology

Excerpt

This book represents the fruition of four years' labor—most of it, fortunately, a labor of love. The idea of translating these papers, originating with Ernest Angel, was welcomed by Basic Books because of their enthusiasm for bringing out significant new material in the sciences of man. I was glad to accept their invitation to participate as one of the editors since I, too, had long been convinced of the importance of making these works available in English, particularly at this crucial moment in the development of modern psychiatry and psychology.

We asked Dr. Ellenberger to join us as the third editor because of his extensive knowledge of the literature of phenomenological and existential psychiatry and his clinical experience in using these methods in Switzerland. He and Mr. Angel are chiefly responsible for the selection of the particular papers translated. In our introductory chapters, Dr. Ellenberger and I have undertaken the task of making a bridge between these contributions and American psychiatry and psychology, while Mr. Angel has borne the major weight of the translations themselves.

But no sooner had we commenced work than we found ourselves up against grave difficulties. How could one render into English the key terms and concepts of this way of understanding man, beginning with even such a basic word as Dasein? We were indeed facing what has often been called the genius and demonic character of the German language. I vividly remember a comment made by Dr. Paul Tillich, who is himself a representative of one wing of the existential movement and who likewise possesses a penetrating understanding of psychoanalysis. Driving together to East Hampton one day during the early stages of this work, Tillich and I stopped at a "diner." Over our coffee I handed him a list of some of the key terms and their proposed equivalents in English.

Suddenly he exclaimed, "Ach, it is impossiblel" I hoped he meant the coffee and not the definitions! But it soon became clear he meant the latter.

"It is impossible," he continued. "But you must do it anyway."

The present volume is proof that we kept to the task, and we trust that by and large we have achieved success in rendering into clear English the pro-

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