The sublime in everyday life: psychoanalytic and aesthetic perspectives

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11 December 2021

Time: 10:00 - 11:30

Price: General Admission: £25

Location: online


This event will be delivered via Zoom online.

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  1. What is the sublime and how do we understand it as immanent in our everyday life, a source of energy and inspiration?
  2. How can it be invoked to support our mental health and well-being?
  3. Are encounters with the sublime loving and caring? Or can they also be hateful, traumatic, and destructive?
  4. How do these encounters with the sublime overflow and destabilise our psychological and social structures by exposing their fictional and constructed nature?

Notions of the sublime are most often associated with the extraordinary, and include the intrapsychic, high-cultural, and exceptional occurrences of elation and exaltation as part of its experience.

In this lecture, Dr Gaitanidis will use ordinary encounters and case presentations in order to make a plea that the existing philosophical and psychoanalytical perspectives on the sublime acknowledge their rootedness in the same world that we all engage in our everyday lives. For all their theoretical and clinical refinements, the various philosophical and psychoanalytic explanations of the sublime remain an expression of, and hence must be guided by, the world of our common human experience.

He will begin by turning to the emergence and development of the notion of the sublime in philosophy and psychoanalysis in order to show how we can take up this legacy and transform it in a manner that could endow us with a particular power and relevance for the personal, interpersonal, therapeutic, cultural and political questions that confront us in the 21st century. By proposing a more ‘grounding’, ‘ordinary’ way of speaking and thinking about the sublime, we hope that we will be able to reinvigorate the sensuous, mysterious, and ‘sacred’ ways we experience our everyday encounters with the world, therapy, and each other.

This lecture will be an opportunity to substantiate the existing psychoanalytic and aesthetic, theoretical and clinical knowledge of the sublime by placing it within the context of everyday life using examples of it in art, film, theatre, literature as well as in work, education, relationships, and the clinic.

By attending this lecture you can expect:

  1. To restore and revive the world of our ordinary sensorial, interpersonal, therapeutic experiences by introducing the sublime as part of its mysterious, irreducible, and open-ended texture.
  2. To be able to use psychoanalytic and aesthetic theories as well as clinical presentations, to revitalise the sublime by re-evaluating its significance for contemporary life and psychotherapy and, in a unique and fascinating endeavour, open a space that will explore the sublime in the ordinary, everyday, and quotidian.
  3. Through the exploration of familiar and unfamiliar threads of the sublime experience, to posit the sublime as invoking an ordinary human response which contains minute, inter-psychic, inclusive cultural and clinical elements, and thus carries within it therapeutic and political potential.


Dr Anastasios Gaitanidis is a Relational Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Director of Studies, Author, Theory Editor and Supervisor. In addition to his clinical work as a psychoanalytic therapist, Anastasios held appointments as a Senior Lecturer and provided clinical and research supervision to counselling psychologists and psychotherapists at Regent’s University London and University of Roehampton. He currently holds the position of Director of Studies for the Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy at Metanoia training Institute.

Anastasios is the Theory Editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling (EJPC) and an author who published a substantial body of academic work including journal articles and edited books over the years, with a recent book publication entitled The Sublime in Everyday Life: Psychoanalytic and Aesthetic Perspectives. (Routledge: 2020).


Stephen Crawford is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist registered with BPC and works in private practice and as Training Lead at WPF Therapy. He has run many sessions for the WPF Reading Group since its inception.

Target Audience:

This course should be interesting and accessible for anyone interested in psychoanalysis, including qualified counsellors and psychotherapists as well as those in training.  Please note that by booking on this event you agree to keep all discussion confidential.

This event will be of great interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and art and drama therapists, as well as scholars and students of philosophy, literature, art and popular culture.

Applications must be received by Thursday, 2nd December 2021.

Please note that by booking a ticket for this event, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions for CPD events, so please read through them carefully before making your purchase.

If you experience any problems, please contact us.

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