Aleksandar Fatic

Paper presentation: Trauma, excuses and therapy

Abstract: Much of the modern culture of psychotherapy is based on the assumption that there is some kind of almost inevitable causation of mental disorders or experiential difficulties that harks back to traumatic experiences. Some psychiatrists, perhaps most notably Gabor Mate, argue that ‘we are all traumatized, whether we know it or not”, and that a way to understand our existential strife is by seeking the hidden traumas in our past. This paper discusses the ramifications of the culture of trauma for the very concept of mental health and psychological normalcy and contrasts it with psychoanalytic, especially Lacanian, views of normativity and structure as the very foundation of the attributes of normalcy.
Biography: Aleksandar Fatic is Professor at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, and Director of the Institute for Practical Humanities in Belgrade. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the Australian National University and is the author of numerous books and articles on philosophical psychology, psychoanalyais, philosophical practice and related topics. His most recent books include Philotherapy: An Integration of Psychotherapy, Lexington Press of Rowman and Littlefield, Laynham, 2023 and Virtue as Identity: Emotions and the moral personslity, Roman and Littlefield International, London, 2016. His two most recent papers are ‘Narcissism as a moral incompetence’, forthcoming along with a symposium with the response to critics entitled ‘Why narcissists are morally responsible’, in Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, 2023.