Adam Phillips


Biography of Adam Phillips

Adam Phillips (born 19 September 1954) is a British child psychotherapist, literary critic and essayist. He is known for his books dealing with topics related to psychoanalysis.

Since 2003 he has been the general editor of the new Penguin Modern Classics translations of Sigmund Freud. He is also a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.

Phillips was born in Cardiff in 1954, the child of second-generation Polish Jews. He grew up as part of an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins and describes his parents as "very consciously Jewish but not believing." As a child, his first interest was the study of tropical birds and it was not until adolescence that he developed an interest in literature. He attended Bristol's Clifton College. He went on to study English at St John's College, Oxford and his defining influences are literary – he was inspired to become a psychoanalyst after reading Carl Jung's autobiography and he has always believed psychoanalysis to be closer to poetry than medicine: "For me, psychoanalysis has always been of a piece with the various languages of literature - a kind of practical poetry." He began his training soon after leaving Oxford, underwent four years of analysis with Masud Khan and qualified to practice at the age of 27. He had a particular interest in children and began working as a child psychotherapist: "one of the pleasures of child psychotherapy is that it is, as it were, psychoanalysis for a non-psychoanalytic audience." From 1990-97 he was principal child psychotherapist at Charing Cross Hospital in London. Phillips worked in the National Health Service for seventeen years but became disillusioned with its tightening bureaucratic demands. He currently divides his time between writing and his private practice in Notting Hill. For a number of years he was in a relationship with the academic Jacqueline Rose. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of York English department since 2006.

Adam Phillips's Works:

Winnicot (1988)
On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life (1993)
On Flirtation: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Uncommitted Life (1994)
Terrors and Experts (1995)
Monogamy (1996)
The Beast in the Nursery: On Curiosity and Other Appetites (1998)
Darwin's Worms: On Life Stories and Death Stories (1999)
Promises, Promises (2000)
Houdini's Box: On the Arts of Escape (2001)
Equals: On Inhibition, Mockery, Hierarchy, and the Pleasures of Democracy (2002)
Going Sane (2005)
Side Effects (2006)
Intimacies (With Leo Bersani, 2008)
On Kindness (With Barbara Taylor, 2009)
On Balance (2010)
The Concise Dictionary of Dress (With Judith Clark, 2010)
Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life (2012)

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