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Picture of Psychic River

Psychic River

Storms and Safe Harbours in Lifelong Learning

Author(s): David Mathew

Book Description

The book is about the joys and frustrations of lifelong learning, and about what drives us to learn as we move through our years. It follows the life-in-learning, from birth to death, of a character that the reader is invited to create. It examines many of life’s important themes—a response to overwhelming choice, the instinct of self-protection—as they apply to a person’s learning journey. Using a variety of psychoanalytic and philosophical lenses, and using the Psychic River as a metaphor, the text asks the question of what it means “to learn” and “to teach”. It investigates factors that might break the fragile process of learning, and explores the complex motivations behind returning to learning. The book is of interest to educators and learners, to psychoanalysts and analysands, and to anyone who has ever wondered what drives us to learn or teach.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-3197-0
ISBN-10: 1-5275-3197-X
Date of Publication: 01/06/2019
Pages / Size: 179 / A5
Price: £58.99


Since the mid-1990s, Dr David Mathew has worked in a wide variety of educational settings. This background—teaching in schools, colleges, universities, communities, prisons and online—was one of the inspirations for the book, and for its exploration of what drives someone to be a lifelong learner. As a long-term researcher in the field of psychoanalysis, he has published many academic papers that marry education and psychoanalysis, and his two previous academic books are Fragile Learning: The Influence of Anxiety (2015) and The Care Factory (2016). He works as a Learning and Development Manager for the National Health Service.