Date: Saturday 18 November 2017. 2–5pm

Venue: DIT Aungier Street, Dublin 2.

This is an APPI and IFPP event.

“All symptoms are a kind of geography; they take a person in certain directions, to certain places and not to others. They are a schedule of avoidances, a set of warning signals. Whether I am straightforwardly phobic, or obsessive, or unstraightforwardly hysterical, my symptoms map out the limits of my life; I confine myself to particular kinds of situation. I find myself approaching certain kinds of people, but wary of certain others. Like anxious parents, my symptoms keep an eye on me; my suffering provides stability. Every second one’s entire being is metamorphosing – the cells of the body are being destroyed and reproduce at an astonishing rate, in the ongoing push towards final disintegration – but one’s experience is that at least in some areas of one’s life there is some certainty, some fixity in the turbulent business of living (when it becomes intolerable one feels ‘stuck’, when it is comforting it’s called habit). The unavoidable fact of change is apparently countered by the inescapable nature of one’s symptoms. So the not always obvious pleasure people take in their symptoms – if only by ironizing themselves as ‘characters’ – always raises the question of why, at this moment in their lives, they want to lose such an absorbing and upsetting pastime, to get rid of such an arresting concern?”

(From “Houdini’s Box – On the art of escape”, 2001)