Dr. Michael Guy Thompson: R. D. Laing, Spiritual Love, and The Politics of Experience
In this episode of Waking Up Bipolar, Chris Cole speaks with Dr. Michael Guy Thompson—clinical psychologist, educator, and student of the late R.D. Laing. Dr. Thompson moved to London in 1973 to work with R.D. Laing, where he also trained as a psychoanalyst. In 1980 he returned to San Francisco where he founded Free Association, a psychoanalytic salon devoted to integrating phenomenology and psychoanalysis.
He subsequently joined the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California in San Francisco where he is currently a Personal and Supervising Analyst and Faculty member. Dr. Thompson has been active in the psychoanalytic community since returning to California in 1980 and has presented his ideas at numerous professional conferences over the past three decades. He is a past President of the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education (IFPE), and subsequently the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (NCSPP).
Dr. Thompson also serves on the editorial boards of many professional journals, including Psychoanalytic Psychology, the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, the Journal of European Psychoanalysis, and The Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis. He is the author of more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews on phenomenology, psychoanalysis and schizophrenia, as well as five books. He is a popular speaker and has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Spain, and Australia over the past thirty years. Dr. Thompson is a member of varied psychoanalytic organizations, including the International Psychoanalytic Association, the College of Psychoanalysts (UK), and the Philadelphia Association, London. He practices psychoanalysis in San Francisco and lives in Marin County, California.
As you’ll hear in our conversation, Dr. Thompson honors the vision of R.D. Laing in his activism and psychotherapy practice, as well as the Gnosis Retreat Center in San Francisco, California. If you have not read The Politics of Experience by Ronald David Laing, press pause and go buy this seminal book on the intersection of madness and society. The work of R.D. Laing is best summarized for me by the quote, “We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love.”
Dr. Thompson carries on the simultaneously radical and pragmatic approach of Dr. Laing in humble, accessible servitude. It’s my great honor to present to you now, Dr. Michael Guy Thompson. Thanks for joining us.
Dr. Michael Guy Thompson's website: http://www.michaelguythompson.com/
The Gnosis Retreat Center website: http://www.gnosisretreatcenter.org/
R.D. Laing Symposium website: http://www.rdlaingsymposium.com/
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Chris Cole hosts the Waking Up Bipolar podcast, focused on the intersection of bipolar disorder and spiritual awakening. He is the author of The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madness, inspired by his own journey of spiritual unfolding and mental health challenges. Chris Cole offers life coaching for any number of mental health conditions, specializing in bipolar disorder and spiritual emergence. Chris’s experience with addiction, disordered eating, body dysmorphia, psychosis, and spiritual emergency allows him to relate to a wide range of clients. He utilizes a holistic approach to mental health which views wellness in physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual domains. Learn more about Chris and his work at colecoaching.com.
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