07/22/2018, 09:03, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Lacan/Foucault: Author, Subject, Vitalism/Materialism

07/22/2018 10:00

open to public
Organizer: Freud Museum London
Venue: Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
NW3 5SX London
United Kingdom
>> Website

Lacan held Foucault’s works in high esteem.
He repeatedly refers to and comments on them in his seminars, urging his audience to read them. Conversely, throughout his oeuvre, Foucault paid considerable attention to psychoanalysis. Although these exchanges are far from devoid of mutual criticism, they also witness to a profound awareness that psychoanalysis is not merely an ‘anti-philosophy’ but an innovative praxis, and that philosophy can only be renewed in dialogue with it.

In this one-day intensive course we will compare and contrast Lacan’s and Foucault’s respective stances on subjectivity. We will focus on their apparently convergent but also, on close inspection, fundamentally different critiques of the classical notion of the subject.

First, we will address Foucault’s notion of the subject as unveiled in his discussion of authorship – as elaborated in his 1969 seminal essay “What Is an Author?”. We will pay particular attention to the far from insignificant fact that, in this context, Foucault regards Freud as a “founder of discursivity”. Second, we will dwell on Lacan’s comments on the Foucauldian notion of the author (made in Seminar XVI); we will also see how the Foucauldian notion of the author overlaps with the Lacanian subject of the unconscious. Third, we will oppose Lacan’s and Foucault’s conclusions on the ontological status of the subject.

On the one hand, for Foucault’s vitalist presuppositions determining “who is speaking” in the end no longer makes any difference. On the other hand, for Lacan what materialistically matters in the human form of life, or speaking being, as highlighted by psychoanalysis is absolute difference. We will conclude by examining how this absolute difference amounts to the inextricability of subject and structure.

This one-day course will be followed later in the year by a one-day course on Lacan’s, Foucault’s, and Deleuze’s treatment of aesthetics with specific regard to the gaze and the baroque (30th September).

Stress: External Threat or Internal Conflict?

07/29/2018 14:30

open to public
Organizer: Freud Museum London
Venue: Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
NW3 5SX London
United Kingdom
>> Website

This short introductory workshop will briefly look at some of the causes of stress.
It will also examine how Freudian defence mechanisms protect the ego from experiencing anxiety and suggest some practical ways of reducing stress.

Stress is usually defined as the inability to cope with a perceived threat (real or imagined) to one’s mental, physical and emotional well-being, which results in a series of physiological responses. Approximately 85% of adults in the UK report regularly feeling stressed, with over half stating that they are worried about the effect stress is having on their health.

In this one-hour workshop, we will consider both external and internal causes of stress and anxiety. Sigmund Freud believed that when conflict between the id, ego and superego leads to anxiety, a range of unconscious defence mechanisms may be employed by the ego to help to deal with this conflict. However, it was actually Anna Freud, in her 1936 book “The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence”, who described in detail the ego defences which had been previously outlined by her father.

We will conclude by looking at recent evidence and sharing ideas about the best ways of reducing stress.

English Speaking Weekend Conference

09/28/2018 - 09/30/2018

open to public
Organizer: Institute of Psychoanalysis
Venue: Institute of Psychoanalysis
112A Shirland Road
W9 2BT London
United Kingdom
>> Website

The English Speaking Weekend Conference is open to members and candidates of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) and its component societies, and also to members of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (APC).

This conference will explore the vicissitudes of affects and the capacity to develop mental representations in relation to the body, in both adult and child analysis. Affects are rooted in the body and profoundly affect the functioning of the body and the mind. The quality and/or lack of the capacity to hold representations is paramount to the functioning of both mind and body. The speakers will explore these issues, focussing on three broad areas: psychosomatics; pain, self-harm and violence; and autism and autistic defences. Two clinical papers will be presented in each of these areas, followed by an open dialogue between the speakers and with the audience.

Psychoanalysis, Critical Theory and the Psychosocial


open to public
Organizer: Psychoanalysis and Politics
Venue: Marx House, London
37A Clerkenwell Green
EC1R 0DU London
United Kingdom
>> Website

A discussion based seminar series by Psychoanalysis and Politics at the Marx House, London.

OCT 26TH – MILENA STATEVA / MANNIE SHER Pedalling swans: trace, love and reflexivity in the containment of contemporary care provision – between inherited challenges and new dilemmas
NOV 16TH – LENE AUESTAD Violence and the Social Unconscious: Overcoming or not Overcoming the Individual/Social Distinction
NOV 30TH – VERONCA DIESEN Immaterial labour and its nonsense: Challenging the artificial division of mental and manual labour and its forms of alienation
DEC 14TH – R.D. HINSHELWOOD / KALINA STAMENOVA Can a psychoanalytical method be a political one?

OCT 26TH MILENA STATEVA, PhD / MANNIE SHER, PhD, (The Tavistock Institute) Pedalling swans: trace, love and reflexivity in the containment of contemporary care provision – between inherited challenges and new dilemmas

What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition

Delivery of care today is shared between statutory agencies and non-governmental organisations, and by high-cost private companies. This paper looks at the current state of the not-for-profit providers; how institutional dynamics affects their staff and what new issues are facing the workforce. In Western societies, and in the UK in particular, those who care for the most vulnerable, experience suffering and difficulties that mirror the experience of their clients and are sometimes amplified by organisational pressures. Recent reviews highlight the ways in which these pressures from ‘above’ and ‘below’ can be detrimental to the task of caring and can undermine the wellbeing of the workforce and by extension the value and future of welfare services. This paper describes alternatives to perpetual re-designs, re-structuring and austerity measures by relatively inexpensive but powerful action learning interventions. For purposes of brevity we call the intervention reflective spaces that apply philosophy, group relations, psychoanalysis, organisational development and critical theory. As reflective spaces, these groups contain, hold and work through everyday care experiences and inform meaningful action by mobilising the practitioners’ capacities to love, learn and think.

The Repression and Abandonment of Oedipus: The role of the Oedipal situation in mental distress and disorder

11/30/2018 - 12/02/2018

open to public
Organizer: UCL - University College London
Venue: University College London
Gower St
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom
>> Website

Conference Abstract
The most nuclear of psychoanalytic ideas is the eponymously named Oedipus complex. Stated generally, it is that shifting patterns of triangular love, hate and rivalry exist universally: two are imagined to join as a cross-generational sexual pair transgressing the incest taboo. The third fears abandonment and feels murderous. These patterns determine whom we love and/or hate and how we see the differences, or absence of them, between the sexes. They operate in the genesis of guilt and mental disorders. They structure family and group dynamics. They interact with culture. This Conference aims at a current view of how we understand, and work with clinically, the phenomena to which this radical thesis draws our attention.

51st IPA Congress - The Feminine

07/24/2019 - 07/27/2019

open to public
Organizer: IPA - International Psychoanalytical Association
Venue: QEII Centre
Broad Sanctuary
SW1P 3EE London
United Kingdom
>> Website

Psychoanalytic theory and practice both have a part to play in addressing the question of ‘the feminine’. Our goal for this Congress is to focus on issues that affect the everyday life and experiences of both women and men.

Since the late nineteenth century, concerns and problems related to the female condition, which were previously normalised or silenced, have become increasingly visible in different cultures.

Psychoanalytic theories on the feminine have widened and diversified. Important debates emerged early on, such as the Freud-Jones controversy on primary and secondary femininity, and the role of penis envy in development. Many female analysts developed and presented their ideas on these issues. These debates are ongoing and have become increasingly sophisticated. The riddle of bisexuality has stood at the centre of psychoanalysis since the beginning and contains both the feminine and the masculine. The question of whether there is a set of fantasies that are connected more with the feminine than with the masculine remains open.

Each society, culture or historical period attributes certain behaviours to the feminine or the masculine. However, most people have their own personal mixture of these, and it would be an over-simplification to prescribe a fixed set of properties to one particular sex. The psychoanalytic approach is now broader, including the feminine within the field of the masculine. New family configurations and sexual and gender diversity have challenged established standards of sexual binarism and have invited new questions about femininity and masculinity. The feminine protects the infant and its development; it guarantees survival and furnishes the mother tongue. In the intermediary spaces of two, three or more persons, all the involved persons continuously negotiate the positions of the feminine and the masculine, changing the question of what should be labelled as feminine and what as masculine. We have therefore had to revisit many concepts whose relevance for clinical practice is unquestionable: among them, the Oedipal-castration complex and its traditional resolution, the feminine superego, and women’s desire for children.

Within this framework, the IPA takes up the challenge of updating and rethinking classical psychoanalytic views on the feminine and their repercussions in psychoanalysis.

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