Monkey on My Back: An Autoethnographic Narrative of a Therapeutic Experience

WIESNER, Adam: Monkey on My Back:  An Autoethnographic Narrative of a Therapeutic Experience. Bratislava: Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology SAS – VEDA SAS, 2020, 224 p., ISBN: 978-80-224-1824-9

With a conscious attempt to contribute to contemporary discussions in mad/trans/queer/monster studies, the monograph approaches complex postmodern theories and contextualizes them from an autoethnographic methodological perspective.
As the self-explanatory subtitle reads, the book introduces several topics as revelatory fields for the author’s self-exploration at the moment of an intense epistemological and ontological crisis. Reflexively written, it does not solely focus on a personal experience, as it also aims at bridging the gap between the individual and the collective in times of global uncertainty. There are no solid outcomes defined; nevertheless, the narrative points to a certain—more fluid—way out. Through introducing alternative ways of hermeneutics and meaning-making, the book offers a synthesis of postmodern philosophy and therapy, evolutionary astrology as a symbolic language, embodied inquiry, and Buddhist thought that together represent a critical attempt to challenge the pathologizing discursive practices of modern disciplines during the neoliberal capitalist era.

Key Words:
Autoethnography, Narrative Therapy, Mad Studies, Mindfulness, Evolutionary Astrology