Psychoanalysis as a form of therapy works by attending to the patient's side effects, that is, 'what falls out of his pockets once he starts speaking'. Undergoing psychoanalytic treatment is in many ways like reading a powerful work of literature - a leap into the dark, an opportunity to think the strangeness of your own thoughts. It is impossible to know beforehand the effect it will have. All we can do, as the essays in this book suggest, is see where the side effects will lead us. And that is part of the excitement of being alive.
As erudite, observant and eloquent as ever, Adam Phillips is the perfect guide for this fascinating journey into the links between psychoanalysis, literature and the living of our everyday lives.