Inspirations for psychotherapy from Maurice Blanchot’s philosophy of literature
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Praktyka prywatna
Submission date: 2022-12-22
Final revision date: 2023-03-16
Acceptance date: 2023-03-22
Publication date: 2023-05-30
Corresponding author
Katarzyna Kamila Szol   

Praktyka prywatna, zespół ko-relacje Warszawa
Psychoter 2022;203(4):43–60
The aim of this paper is to show the inspirations that psychotherapists can draw from Maurice Blanchot's philosophy of literature. The French writer, philosopher and literary theorist tried to capture in his works the relationship linking, in particular, the author of the work and the reader with the work. He based his reflections on the perspective of realizing the desire to enter into dialogue with being itself, the source experience. The search for the presence of a therapeutic dimension of literary experience consisted in separating and identifying the factors which constitute therapeutic functions of literature. The analysis of Bruno Bettelheim's theory, which describes the role of fairy tales in the child's development, allows us to specify the key elements conducive to the process of psychological integration and readers’ search for personal meaning. By comparing the psychotherapeutic session to the process of creation and reception of a work of art, the psychotherapist is instructed by Blanchot as to what attitude he should adopt in order to incorporate hidden meanings among overt messages, build up emotional involvement, and accommodate emotions. The reading of Maurice Blanchot's texts proves that his considerations about the "presence of absence" ( which is the presence of being), death, as well as the requirements of authentic reading are a message which, when well assimilated, can support psychotherapists in activities considered by Bettelheim as therapeutic.