Websites of interest


Books and papers by family and friends

The Talking Cure: Wittgenstein’s Therapeutic Method for Psychotherapy

by John M. Heaton
Available from Amazon UK, Amazon US

From the Publisher: One of Freud’s central claims is that our words and actions reveal unrecognised confusions lying at the heart of our relationships with others and the world. Taking Freud at his word and sharing his view of the importance of the ‘talking cure’, this book demonstrates how the language of Freud and his followers is often so confused as to be therapeutically useless. Drawing primarily on the work of Wittgenstein, John Heaton offers a radically different understanding of the ‘talking cure’ that engages with the problem of language itself, and its capacity to bewitch both patient and therapist. It holds great importance for therapists of all persuasions who try to make sense of what happens when two people meet to unravel a problem that one of them brings, but is framed within words that may ensnare both participants equally.

Writing and Reading Royal Entertainments: From George Gascoigne to Ben Jonson

by Gabriel Heaton

Available from: Amazon UK, Amazon US

From the Publisher: This major new study of Elizabethan and Jacobean royal entertainments, including country house entertainments, tiltyard speeches, and court masques, is the first to look in detail at the evidence provided by the surviving material texts. Drafts, royal presentation manuscripts, widely-circulating scribal copies, and printed pamphlets are all carefully placed in their cultural context, and the medium of manuscript is shown to have been at least as important as print for these texts’ circulation. From the close collaboration between commissioning host and hired writer, to the varied interpretations imposed by copyists and publishers, entertainments were written and read within a complex social nexus: far from being royal propaganda, they reflected the distinct and sometimes competing agendas of monarchs, commissioning hosts, authors, publishers, scribal intermediaries, and readers.

Wittgenstein: A Graphic Guide

(Formerly published as Introducing Wittgenstein)
by John M. Heaton and Judy Groves (illustrator)

Available from: Amazon UK, Amazon US, online

From the Publisher: Ludwig Wittgenstein has somehow captured the popular imagination as the modern Socrates, the master of enigmatic logic, the fascinating and attractive icon of modernism. But what did Wittgenstein really say? In Introducing Wittgenstein we meet a strange man, the rigorous logician who prized poetry above philosophy, who inherited an immense fortune and gave it all away, who sought death in the trenches of World War One, a great teacher who advised his students to give up philosophy, a tormented soul who thrived on jokes and crime fiction and a solitary who inspired lifelong friendships. We are also given a clear and accessible guide to his central works, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, a glacier of logic, and his later, friendlier Philosophical Investigations. Anyone intrigued by these works but too daunted to have read them will find this the ideal introduction to a great 20th century philosopher.

/ Wittgenstein and Pychotherapy From Paradox to Wonder

by John M. Heaton
Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US

From the Publisher: Using the work of Wittgenstein, John Heaton challenges the notion of theoretical expertise on the mind, arguing for a new understanding of therapy as an attempt by patients to express themselves in an effort to see and say what has not been said or seen, and accept that the world is not as fixed as they are constituting it.

Wittgenstein and Psychoanalysis

by John M Heaton
Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US

From the Publisher: Sigmund Freud and Ludwig Wittgenstein were contemporaries. Freud created psychoanalysis, and Wittgenstein was perhaps the greatest 20th century philosopher. Both thinkers are essentially concerned with our inveterate tendency to deceive ourselves. Freud approaches this problem from a psychiatric angle – the cure of neurosis, psychosis, perversion and so on. He assumes that his readers can see through the self-deceptions of the neurotics he describes. Wittgenstein, on the other hand, takes an ironical approach to himself and his readers, believing that we are almost certainly deluded, even if we have been analyzed by an orthodox analyst. He makes us feel that language, understanding and knowledge are but a thin net over an abyss. “Wittgenstein and Psychoanalysis” brings these two great, enormously influential Viennese thinkers together in the arena of a postmodern encounter. The question at issue is – which of these two philosophies is the better form of relevant “therapy” for us today? Or is it ever a matter of “contest” between them?