In his "Fragments of a Journal", playwright Eugene Ionesco wrote: "According to Freud, the three obstacles that prevent us from being are anxiety, pity and aversion. This is the threefold chain that binds us. But our chain is fourfold or even fivefold: hatred or aggressiveness are equal hindrances to freedom. Desire is the most serious obstacle to our deliverance. Freudianism can thus, to some extent, be reconciled with Buddhism..." Ionesco goes on to suggest that the ultimate implications of psychoanalysis are not far removed from those of Buddhism. In this book, Anthony Molino teases out those implications in a collection of writings on the complex relationship between the two disciplines. Comprised of both a historical overview of the classic writings in the "dialogue" (with works by Alexander, Fromm, Suzuki, Hisamatsu and Jung), and a far-reaching panorama on the state-of-the-dialogue today (with contributions by Adam Phillips, Mark Epstein, Masao Abe, the late Nina Coltart, and, in conversation, psychoanalyst Joyce McDougall and His Holiness the Dalai Lama), "The Couch and the Tree" is intended as a watershed in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural exploration.
'One of the 100 best academic books of the '90s' Linguafranca: The Review of Academic Life 'This book is that thing which James Strachey said did not exist: a cake made of nothing but currants. Many contributors speak from a deep experiential knowledge of both Buddhism and psychotherapy, and write with impressive authority and reflectiveness... A fascinating variety of texts, an excellent introduction to a vigorous branch of the psychoanalytic tree.' David Black, International Journal of Psychoanalysis 'This is not simply a collection of essays on two profoundly influential disciplines, it is a genuine intellectual rendezvous. That Buddhism and psychoanalysis can meet up in one volume is a tribute to Molino's erudition, skill, and intelligence in creating a single work that will long affect all further discussions of their similarities and differences.' Christopher Bollas