From: Andrew Phelps <>


Sent: Wed Oct 31 7:53AM

Subject: [behave] Freud experience



Several of us attended last night's showing of “Freud's Last Session” at the San Jose Repertory Theatre downtown. Freud meets with fellow intellectual C.S. Lewis as WW II begins in Europe. As students we could sit in the back of the balcony for $10. The event was well attended and the performance came off quite well.

Freud is in a terminal stage of oral cancer and he is planning suicide. That is in interesting contrast with the prevailing ideation of Mental Health HERE which replaces psychological well being with suicide prevention as its dominant up-front purpose. In the play, Freud talks with his new “friend” about his preparatory efforts. Lewis (a famous author in his own right) discusses Freud's thinking about religion and spirituality.

Freud has made a deal with his M.D. so that he will “lay off” the medical/psychiatric commitment procedure. He has had many (I believe 30) operations on his mouth and is dealing with a prosthetic upper jaw that “doesn't fit right.” His habitual behavior as a “talker” with (endless) critical comment is challenged by his fellow “talker” on the question of engagement with the ideation of faith and faith “itself.” War signs like bombers (which happen to be English) flying overhead bring the experience into “real-time” focus.

For MHCA, we have a concern to bring the truth about “madness” back into the conversation. The prevailing "suicide ideation" approach to the psychology of well being is not good for the “campus climate.” The theater performance indicates to the audience (many of whom appeared to be clinicians themselves) the tension of that concern. “Freud's Last Session” runs thru November 4th and is - I believe - worth the time and trouble involved.


ABO “Andrew Behavior Object”



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