Of potholes and bends: A meditation on psychoanalysis and motorcycle riding

Carlo Strenger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Psychoanalysis has recently turned attention to the importance of the patient's developing a sense of the future. Yet many patients cannot envisage a rich and worthwhile future, because their attention is focused on the dangers, real or imagined. This scenario is analogous to difficulties motorcyclists have in detaching their gaze from sources of danger and developing depth of vision. The author relates some experiences he has had in being coached in motorcycle riding and demonstrates their relevance to psychoanalytic processes. It is shown that both in motorcycling and in life, it is important to keep focus of vision on one's long-term goals while being aware of dangers in peripheral vision. The development of harmonious movement is shown to be a function of a combination of maternal care and paternal guidance in life as in riding motorcycles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-651
Number of pages7
JournalPsychoanalytic Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2004


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