The past continues to operate powerfully, wordlessly, in that less conscious part of our human mind and can trip us up unexpectedly. We can perceive and respond to situations in ways which are more to do with early experiences than the present. We can push from mind what we would rather not know. Feelings such as doubt and sadness can seem too weak; envy and anger, too bad; feeling small and in any way in need, could leave us too vulnerable.

Though most will never have their own experience of psychoanalysis (or less intensive psychoanalytic psychotherapy), psychoanalytic ideas can be profoundly helpful in making sense of ourselves. Having some access to those more hidden parts of our human mind, we can feel more alive, more real and less likely to act out in unexpected ways.

An accessible, sympathetic and challenging guide, The Rough Beast: Psychoanalysis in Everyday Life is for all those who are curious and sceptical as to what, why and how psychoanalytic understanding is useful in everyday life.

chapter Chapter 1|5 pages


What is psychoanalysis?

chapter Chapter 2|8 pages

Fundamental Freud

chapter Chapter 3|7 pages

How does psychoanalysis work?

chapter Chapter 4|7 pages

The downside of change

part Part I|2 pages

Analytic understanding of early life

chapter Chapter 5|6 pages

The baby

chapter Chapter 6|8 pages

The mother and the environment

part Part II|2 pages

Freedom of thought

chapter Chapter 7|7 pages

The mad

chapter Chapter 8|7 pages

The bad

chapter Chapter 9|6 pages

The sad

chapter Chapter 10|5 pages

The good and the sane

part Part III|2 pages

Conflict through the life stages

chapter Chapter 11|8 pages

The young child and Oedipus

chapter Chapter 12|9 pages

The child

Resolving or evading Oedipus

chapter Chapter 13|8 pages

Early adolescence and the changing body

chapter Chapter 14|7 pages

Late adolescence

part Part IV|2 pages


chapter Chapter 15|6 pages


chapter Chapter 16|6 pages


chapter Chapter 17|7 pages

Work and play

chapter Chapter 18|8 pages


chapter Chapter 19|5 pages

Old age

chapter Chapter 20|2 pages