Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

September 22, 2015  

A presentation on the Circle of Security project for supporting parents by Dr Bob Marvin, Director, The Ainsworth Attachment Clinic and The Circle of Security Network, Charlottesville, USA.

The underlying theme of the talk will be about John Bowlby’s initial dream of putting his therapist-role on hold, developing a usable theory, and then returning to doing therapy with that theory. His dream was not realized during his lifetime, but that has changed in the past 25 years. The Circle of Security Intervention is part of that change.

Dr. Bob Marvin was an undergraduate student and research associate with Mary Ainsworth, John Bowlby’s main research collaborator, at The Johns Hopkins University. He received his Ph.D. in developmental and clinical psychology from the University of Chicago. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota he began teaching at the University of Virginia, where he is currently Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine and Research Professor in the Department of Psychology. He is also Director of the Mary Ainsworth Attachment Clinic in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bob has been active in basic and clinical attachment research, and in intervening with families who have children with chronic medical conditions and/or histories of disrupted early relationships. This has led him to focus on developing clinical tools for assessing and intervening with families of foster and adopted children, and with families experiencing divorce or other types of parental separation.

Bob was the Principal Investigator on projects that developed and tested the Circle of Security® version of Attachment Theory, and The Circle of Security® Intervention protocol. Currently, he is implementing variations of this framework in developing community-based partnerships among professionals working with families with at-risk children.

 

This event coincides with Attachment: Our Enduring Need for Others, an exhibition inspired by the life and work of John Bowlby, the founder of Attachment Theory. The exhibition runs from 16 September - 4 October 2015.

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September 21, 2015  

Dr. Gustav Kuhn

Magic is one of the oldest art forms, and for centuries conjurers have created illusions of the impossible by distorting your perception and thoughts. Advances in Psychology and Neuroscience offer new insights into why our minds are so easily deceived and I will explore some to the mechanisms that are involved in magic. Magic involves more than simple deception. Magic works because magicians have learnt to exploit limitations in human cognition, and these psychological limitations are so counterintuitive that are more willing to accept a magical interpretation rather than acknowledge these limitations.

In this talk we will explore some of the principles used by magicians to distort your perception. For example, we will look at how magicians use misdirection to manipulate your attention and thereby prevent you from noticing things even though they might be right in front of your eyes. Alternatively, magicians may manipulate your expectations about the world and thus bias the way you perceive objects and can even make you see things that aren’t necessarily there. At first sight, our proneness to being fooled by conjuring trick could be interpreted as a weakness of the human mind. However, contrary to this popular belief, I will demonstrate that these “errors” reveal the complexity of visual perception and highlight the ingenuity of the human mind.

Dr. Gustav Kuhn worked as a professional magician and it was his interest in deception and illusions that sparked a curiosity about the human mind. Gustav is a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, and one of the leading researchers in the science of magic.

Part of an exciting season of talks, events and conferences accompanying the exhibition ‘The Festival of the Unconscious’ 24 June- 4 October 2015.

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September 7, 2015  

Exciting things are happening at the Freud Museum London this summer. A century after Sigmund Freud’s revolutionary ideas reached a wider public, his final home, dedicated to preserving his legacy, has invited artists, designers, writers and performers to revisit Freud’s seminal paper The Unconscious (1915)

Using a combination of psychological games, scientific and historical information and engaging displays and workshops, the Festival of the Unconscious will encourage visitors to think and learn about the unconscious mind and how it influences our behaviour.

The Museum will become a strange and mysterious place, where writings, objects and artistic works will offer insights into unconscious experience. Newly commissioned films by animators from Kingston University will weave through the house; sound and video installations by London-based art project Disinformation will occupy the dining room, and an installation by stage designers from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, inspired by the work of cosmologist Carlos Frenk, will spectacularly transform Freud’s study. Visitors can contemplate their own unconscious associations through a personal display developed by Julian Rothenstein, co-author of the best-selling ‘Psychobox’. Finally there will be the unique opportunity of reclining and free-associating on a psychoanalytic couch, in Freud’s bedroom.

Artistic contributions include The Dream Collector by Melanie Manchot, a 5-channel synched video and sound installation filmed in Mexico City - on view for the first time in the UK.Melanie Mckennell's Dreamweaving tapestry hangs nearby. Collaborative artists Brass Art present a video piece which uses Kinect scanners to capture intimate-scaled performances in the museum with sound composed by Monty Adkins. Other works include The Unconscious Project by art therapists teaching on the MA Art Psychotherapy course at Goldsmiths, University of London, while Sarah Ainslie andMartin Bladh will display works offering modern takes on the ‘Thematic Apperception Test’ and the Rorschach ink blot test. A set of Freudian Dreamcatchers by Jane Hoodlesstakes its inspiration from the dream symbols discussed in Freud's famous work 'The Interpretation of Dreams'.

A season of wide-ranging and imaginative events, conferences and workshops accompany the exhibition. Highlights include Digging the Unconscious, a participatory archaeological dig in Freud’s garden, with performance artistlili Spain on 9 August, and a major interdisciplinary conference with keynote speakers Mark Solms and Salman Akhtar on 26/27 September. You can unlock your unconscious with workshops in dramapoetry and art,while Hip Hop poet Reveal will perform and talk about Freestyle Rap and its relation to unconscious communication.

After the exhibition is over, the Festival events still continue with a major conference jointly organised with the British Journal of Psychotherapy. Mentalization and the Unconsciouswill take place on 28th November, with keynote speakers Nicola Abel-Hirsch, Catherine Freeman, Jean Knox, and Mary Target. Co-organiser and chair for the day is BJP editor, Ann Scott.

Have you ever done something without knowing why?

Despite the fact that the term is now associated with Freud, the existence of unconscious processes in the mind was recognised long before him. What Freud introduced was the revolutionary notion of a dynamic unconscious, working in a different way from consciousness, with its own kind of logic. He posited a part of the mind in which ideas associated with ‘wishful impulses’, childhood experiences and unacceptable thoughts are hidden from conscious awareness but continue to motivate our behaviour. Starting with his own dreams, he went on to show that the unconscious reveals itself not only in the unexplained symptoms of ‘mental illness’ but in countless manifestations of everyday life.

We laugh at a joke, but we don’t know why. A slip of the tongue reveals an embarrassing thought or a hidden intention. Thoughts come into our head, but where do they come from? We repeat patterns of self-destructive behaviour or plague ourselves with irrational fears. It is as if everything we do or say has a hidden dimension, a sub-text. The discovery of the unconscious means that we are no longer ‘masters in our own house’ – we literally do not know who we are.

In 1915, Freud wrote his paper on The Unconscious, which was an attempt to give scientific account of how the unconscious works. It is not an entirely successful paper, grappling as he is with the ‘unknown’. He makes hypotheses, modifies them, tries again. Freud often finds himself in the position of a cosmologist, trying to give an account of what is in a black hole, or what ‘cold dark matter’ is composed of. They just don’t know. But they know dark matter and black holes exist, obey their own laws and affect the galaxies in which they find themselves.

Freud’s metapsychology may not have the same impact as his captivating case histories or his books on dreams, jokes, and slips of the tongue, but his 1915 paper established ‘the unconscious’ as the principal object of psychoanalysis and the key term of its theory.

The Festival of the Unconscious invites visitors to explore Freud’s challenging idea through talks, performances and a major exhibition. As befits such an elusive concept, most of the works on display are not designed to transmit knowledge, but to evoke something of the visitor’s own unconscious. By engaging with them, we hope visitors may catch a glimpse of a world that is both strange and familiar.

Freud Museum exhibitions are free with admission

An exciting season of talks, performances, conferences and events accompanying the exhibition.

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