Psychology for Lawyers

mia (a lawyer) in therapy
an introduction to neurosis


"All of us are wounded. Ordinary neurotics are conscious of their wounds and often conclude that they themselves are their worst enemy."

óJames Hollis, The Archetypal Imagination 109-110 (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M Press, 2000)


Daniel Goldman, "The Strange Agony of Success," New York Times (August 24, 1986) [online text]

Ken Sanes, Psychoanalysis, Neurosis and the Self After Freud [online text]

"Neurosis," in Dino Franco Felluga, Critical Theory: The Key Concepts (New York: Routledge, 2015) [online text]

Maxson J. McDowell, Neurosis [online text]

"It's a Complex Life," in Daryl Sharp, Digesting Jung: Food for the Journey 9-12 (Toronto: Inner City Books, 2001) [online text of the entire book]

"The Driving Forces in Neuroses," in Karen Horney, Self-Analysis 37-72 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1942)

Karen Horney, Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis 23-33 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1945)

Alexander Lowen, Fear of Life 1-3, 8-10 (New York: Macmillan, 1980)

Franz Alexander, Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis 208-212 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1948)

David Shapiro, Neurotic Styles 1-4, 15-22 (New York: Basic Books, 1965)

Class Video

Class Viewing 1: Review Mia's meeting with Paul Weston as his attorney. She admits to her former therapist that her "success" as a lawyer is not quite what it might seem to be to an outsider.

"Mia" (the lawyer) | In Treatment (HBO) | Season 2, Dk. 1, Episode 1 [relevant part of the video to review is at 20:30 mins. to 21:58 mins.]

Dr. Weston remarking on Mia's success says, "look at you, where you are now." Mia responds: "I'm a success because I work in a tall building . . . . Yea, I made it through law school all the way to the top floor and the beautiful views, and the windows that don't open, and the windows that don't open and the f---ing jackhammers that never stop. And you know what I do when I win a case, one of those hopeless ones only I would take, I go out and get drunk with my gay secretary and then I stumble home to my one bedrom condo and I pray I can fall asleep." Dr. Weston: [nods] "Were you trying to show me how well you have done and how sad you are?"

Class Viewing 2: "Mia" | In Treatment (HBO) | Season 2, Dk. 2, Episode 6 | 25:00 mins.

Class Viewing 3: The Freudian Human Being [0:35 mins.]

Class Viewing 4: Who Can Benefit from Psychoanalysis? [6:59 mins.] [Susan K. Moore, with Donald Craveth, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society] [end class presentation at 4:34 mins.] [commentary on neurosis]

Class Viewing 5: Authenticity [22:03 mins.] [Susie Orbach & Maria Furtwängler discuss authenticity; 2011, Munich] [conversation begins at 5:00 mins. and relevant comment ends at 7:22 mins.; resume at 11:30 for Orbach's comment on how to work with a patient like Mia, end at 13:30 mins.] [Orbach responds to a question about young women who have achieved success and find themselves in trouble] [Susie Orbach was born in 1946. She is is a British psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer, and social critic. She founded Women's Therapy Centre of London]

Class Viewing: In Therapy [14:50 mins.] [class presentation can end at 7:35 mins.]

Reference (On Being Neurotic)

"For Jung, the personality is constantly getting stuck in narrow limits, unable to move forward, and is menaced by an other, an antagonist who stand in its path. This other is what psychotherapy calls a neurosis, that is, an emotional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, compulsive acts and physical complaints dominate the personality. The aim of therapy is not exactly to get rid of the neurosis, but to transform and deepened it by understanding why it arose in the first place.

Typically, a neurosis emerges when a person's consciousness is not broad enough to encompass the contents of the psyche that demand to be lived and seek express."

—David Tacey, How To Read Jung 75 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., First American ed., 2007)

On Being Neurotic
[web resources compiled for the course on the neurotic and neurosis]

Reference (Video)

Happiness Is an Empty Promise
[12:27 mins.] [Steven Hayes] [clinical psychologist, University of Nevada] [end course presentation at 7:30 mins.]

Neurosis vs. Character Disturbance Dimension
[8:18 mins.] [end presentation at 4:05 mins.] [focus on anxiety]

A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis
[8:51:26 mins.] [a reading from Freud's book] [Freud's presentation of "the psychoanalytic conception of neurotic manifestation" begins at 7:56 mins.] [informative presentation of a case of obsessional jealousy ends at 27:54 mins.]

Jordan Peterson Comments on High Achieving Women and the Search for a Mate
[2:17:15 mins.] [the relevant comments are a roughly 3 min. clip that runs from 52:23 mins to 55:20 mins.] [June 2. 2017]

"In Treatment": Mia
[9:35 mins.] Mia's pathogenic belief [3:10 mins.] [Mia comments on her rivalry with her mother] Mia talks about her feelings for Dr. Weston in her therapy with him some 20 years ago [9:58 mins.] Mia tells Paul that she is pregnant [7:22 mins.]

Reference (Susie Orbach)

On Psychoanalysis
[38:14 mins.]

Susie Orbach Psychotherapist, Activist and Author Founder of Anybody Working It!
[7:49 mins.] [comments that run to 1:58 mins. is relevant to Mia's therapy]

Susie Orbach Interview
[5:52 mins.] Pt2 [6:02 mins.]

The Whole Notion of Perfection is a Troubling Aspect of Our Society
[4:22 mins.]

Happiness: Mark Oakley and Susie Orbach speak at St Paul's Cathedral
[1:30:45 mins.] [Orbach's presentation begins at 1:46 mins.; her formal presentation ends at 13:16 mins.]

Reference (Dan Gilbert)

The Psychology of Your Future Self
[6:49 mins.] [Dan Gilbert] [TED Talk] [reference to the Big 5 personality traits]

Why We Make Bad Decisions
[34:09 mins.]

Reference (Women in a Corporate Culture)

Marleen O'Conner, Women Executives in Gladiator Corporate Cultures: The Behavioral Dynamics of Gender, Ego, and Power, 65 Maryland L. Rev. 465 (2006) [online text]

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