Temporality 2: The relevance of the Heideggerian concept of time to the treatment of borderline conditions

  • Paul Cammell Department


In this article I attempt to demonstrate the relevance of the philosophy of time to psychiatric, psychological and psychoanalytic theories of development and therapeutic action. In an accompanying article I established a range of relevant temporal concepts, emerging from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, with links made to Freudian concepts of time, in particular Nachträglichkeit, developed in the writings of psychoanalyst André Green and philosopher Jacques Derrida. In this article I proceed to explore this philosophy of time through a consideration of the developmental theories and clinical approaches of Donald Winnicott, Jean Laplanche, André Green and Hans Loewald. I conclude by establishing that the temporalizing function of therapeutic action can be seen to be a core or essential element of work with patients presenting with so- called borderline conditions. I demonstrate how a range of problems or ambiguities that coalesce around this condition (including dissociation, traumatization, self harm and brief reactive psychosis) can be understood in temporal terms. 


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How to Cite
Cammell, P. (2014). Temporality 2: The relevance of the Heideggerian concept of time to the treatment of borderline conditions. Language and Psychoanalysis, 3(2), 22-39. https://doi.org/10.7565/landp.2014.007
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