04/15/2024, 21:49, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Leading articles

THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYST wants to give not only already internationally established psychoanalysts, but also still unknown psychoanalysts the opportunity to post a self-written and not yet published article on the FrontPage of our online magazine!

Our Users then can leave comments, ask questions or discuss the articles in our forum. Our aim is to provide an international platform where for the first time anyone interested in psychoanalysis can exchange ideas on certain topics.
Articles are welcome in German and/ or English.

If you are interested, please send your article to

(For reasons of readability, the male form is used with personal names, however the female form is also always intended.)




In our interview series "in conversation with“, we will briefly present the authors of the leading articles. We want to give our users the opportunity to read the leading article from a different point of view.

This week we are very glad to welcome Jose Maanmieli:

He studied physics at the University of La Laguna (Spain). Later he worked as a professional musician and developed an interest in human nature, sexuality, relationships and the mind. These and other interests led him to his present activities as a philosopher in Finland. While his focus is on the fundamentals of life, he has a special interest in the psychological dimensions of mental illness as a social phenomenon. He co-authored the article Psykoosi: Sosiaalinen destruktionismi [Psychosis: Social Destructionism] which appeared this year (2017) in Psykoterapia-lehti, the principal psychoanalytic journal of Finland. His presentation ‘Morality and Mental Illness’ was featured at the 19th International Conference on Psychiatry and Philosophy in Madrid last November. His main collaborator, Karoliina Maanmieli, is a postdoctoral researcher (University of Jyväskylä) on the therapeutic uses of poetry and narrative. His work provides the theoretical foundation for this research, though still awaits publication.

DWP: What led you to deal with psychoanalysis, respectively with Freud and his achievements?

Jose Maanmieli: I was in need of someone to talk to about my problems, because I felt that nobody understood me and my philosophical ideas, which are deeply rooted in the personal. I was intuitively attracted to psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and was very excited about the prospect of being able to talk freely, without the usual social constraints. Of course, I knew about Freud already and greatly respected his achievements, especially their implications for philosophy and all other areas of thought.

DWP: Have you ever undergone psychoanalysis?

Jose Maanmieli: I have a psychodynamic psychotherapist. It is not traditional psychoanalysis, but close enough, and it helps me to discover myself and relieve some of my pain. I am very curious to get on the couch though.

DWP: If you had the opportunity to talk to Sigmund Freud, what would be the topic?

Jose Maanmieli: The nature of morality. I think that he would have been very interested in my essay What Morality Is: A Descriptive Explanation, because its biologically consistent, scientific treatment of the subject would have certainly appealed to him, knowing his background. I think that he would have helped me to publish it, and possibly revised his theoretical approach according to it, in order to make psychoanalysis more effective than it is today. Although, of course, this paper might not have been possible in those pre-Freud, pre-Internet days.   

DWP: Fabric or leather couch?

Jose Maanmieli: Ground, if not water.

DWP: Bruno Bettelheim pointed out the importance of fairy tales in childhood. Will you tell us your favorite fairy tale? And do you see parallels to your own adult life?

Jose Maanmieli: Now that I have a 2-year-old daughter, I realise how much I’m not a fairytale person. I agree with Bruno’s thesis inasmuch as these narratives deal with traditional family pressures, but I feel that I have come a long way away from such pressures, and that I now need people to help me create new tales (without fairies).

DWP: I dream, …

Jose Maanmieli: I dream of the day when all horses will be freed.

DWP: What do you find good or particularly good about psychoanalysis and is there anything you do not like about it?

Jose Maanmieli: In a sense, the chance to have my work published in this magazine, and this interview itself, is a reflection of the humanity and open-mindedness inherent in this discipline. This is what I like the most, apart from its courage and depth. What I do not like could be summed up as the set of all instances in which psychoanalysis betrays itself, as represented by the aforementioned qualities. I see the divisions in the field as part of theoretical quarrels that are moral in nature, and that need to be ‘psychoanalysed’ further. These are limitations that, necessarily, also limit what happens between therapist and client. We must psychoanalyse psychoanalysis.     

DWP: Do you have a favorite Freud - quote?

Jose Maanmieli: ‘Civilisation began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.’ With the caveat that the casting of words is, in fact, the origin of man.  

DWP:  Are there other psychoanalysts, in addition to Sigmund Freud, who you like to study?

Jose Maanmieli: As a philosopher, I have to look at things from the top, so I like to study people who have themselves looked at things from the top within psychoanalysis. My favourite writer is Malcolm Owen Slavin, who has done a lot in terms of reconciling the different psychoanalytic schools, in the light of a correct understanding of biology and evolution, which is, unfortunately, still elusive for most. I am also a fan of R.D. Laing, as you might have guessed.

Thank you very much for this conversation, we are already looking forward to your leading article!

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