Andrew Feldmar with Patsy Klein

On January 16, 2013 by Vanessa


I knew Andrew by reputation before we met late last year. I had heard reviews of his epic lectures and I went to see him give a short talk on the Surrealism exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery two summers ago. I was struck by his incredible ability to get people into discussion. A great brain, yes, but also a big heart and a sharp ear. So when Veda Hille (programmer for Club PuSh and all around hero) suggested he would be a good addition to the night, I totally agreed.

I met him at his place, and we sat in what I assume was the room in which he hosts his clients (he’s still a practicing psychotherapist). He told me about his ideas, and I was pretty rapt, sitting there in a wing back in my puffy vest. I felt pretty dozy, and with a slight compulsion to start telling Andrew about my childhood. I resisted.

Andrew will be performing with Patsy Klein, the singer and one half of the musical atrostophy (their word, not mine), The Fits.

Here’s some more words about what Andrew does. He really is something.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1940, arrived to Canada in 1957. Honours B.A. In Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1962, M. A. in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario in 1969. In full time private practice of psychotherapy since 1975, after a year’s apprenticeship with R. D. Laing in London, England. Andrew has been studying entheogens (psychedelics) since 1967. He supervises, teaches, lectures and publishes both in North America and in Europe.

He believes that despair (literally, without hope: hopelessness) is an existential condition, not an illness to be cured by drugs (antidepressants). Melancholia is a temperament, rooted in an attitude one takes up towards one’s unfolding but finite existence.

More on Andrew.