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Fellow 2023/2024 Timo Storck

Fellowship Term: 10/2023 – 02/2024

Timo Storck studied psychology at the University of Bremen from 2000 to 2005, later adding philosophy and theology (without a degree). After writing his diploma thesis on the concept of sublimation, he obtained his PhD at the University of Bremen in 2010 with a thesis on the artistic creation process. He was a research assistant at the University of Bremen from 2006 to 2008 and at the University of Kassel from 2009 to 2015, where he earned his habilitation in 2016 with a thesis on case conferences in inpatient psychotherapy. Between 2008 and 2015, he trained as a psychological psychotherapist (specializing in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy) and worked in a clinic for psychiatry and psychotherapy as well as in a clinic for psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy. Since 2016, he has been working in private practice in Heidelberg. Between 2014 and 2016, he was a research assistant at the Clinic for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (Medical University of Vienna). Since 2015, he is professor for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at Psychologische Hochschule Berlin. His research focuses include: conceptual skills in psychotherapy, conceptual research and methodology, psychoanalytic theory of illness, film psychoanalysis. He is co-editor of several journals (e.g. "Psychoanalyse - Texte zur Sozialforschung") and book series (e.g. "Im Dialog: Psychoanalyse und Filmtheorie") and a member of various organizations, including being part of the delegate assembly of the Berlin Psychotherapist Chamber and an expert at the Institute for Medical and Pharmaceutical Examination Questions.

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In the Spotlight: Timo Storck

Timo Storck

Living in the end-thropocene. Psychology of time after the end of time

I intend to examine non-linear conceptions of time from both a psychological and psychoanalytic viewpoint to shed light on the specific role that “before” and “after” play in the context of the radical breaches of the apocalypse. In a first section, I will explore “experiential” time, focusing on three concepts from psychoanalysis: “après-coup” (how “later” events help to mentally construct “previous” ones and their effect on experience), “fear of breakdown” (dread of something that has already happened but has not been mentally processed due to intense anxiety), and “catastrophic change” (perceiving change as the catastrophe of losing what is known). This will provide a perspective that these radical forms of disruption, which are referred to as “apocalyptic,” must be embraced by accepting the end of what is known without already having a preconceived idea of what comes next. Instead, utopian thinking is atopic, rendering something genuinely post-apocalyptic. In a second section, I will apply these metatheoretical tools to both the individual level, in terms of the collapse of experiential time and the capacity to cope with anxiety in mental illness, and to the cultural level, in terms of exploring time, catastrophe, and utopian thinking in post-apocalyptic fictional narratives. Mental illness can be seen as a dysfunctional way of coping with dreaded change and/or letting go of familiar albeit static ways of managing experience. In fictional media, such as films or TV shows, apocalyptic narratives are met with fascination, allowing for an exploration of what characterizes utopian thinking that is built on embracing the apocalypse.