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

Analytic psychotherapist and art historian, Robert Snell joins us to discuss his forthcoming book, Portraits of the Insane: Théodore Géricault and the Subject of Psychotherapy.

In the gloomy aftermath of the 1789 Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, the French painter Théodore Géricault (1791–1824) made a series of portraits of patients in an asylum or clinic. The paintings are unprecedented: they show people designated as insane as ordinary, unique individuals. They point to a new, essentially democratic conception of the human being, sane or mad, as available for relationship and communication: a ‘therapeutic subject’. Made during a period of massive social, cultural, and economic transformation, they register a critical moment in the history of subjectivity, and connect us to some living roots of psychoanalysis.They challenge us profoundly, in our own conflicted era, to find responses in ourselves to the stranger in our midst.

‘The scope of this book is remarkable. Robert Snell’s meditation on five portraits of mad people by Géricault is the springboard for a fascinating cultural investigation. He surveys two centuries of change in the understanding of human nature, and considers how this is reflected in changing approaches to the treatment of madness.The breadth and depth of scholarship on offer here is exceptional, and this admirable book is an object lesson in the relation of psychoanalysis to the history of ideas.’ — Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society and French Psychoanalytic Association

Robert Snell is an analytic psychotherapist and art historian, a member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Therapeutic Education at Roehampton University.

 

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This presentation locates understanding of psychosis from an attachment perspective within its historical context, present concerns about the treatment of the mentally ill and explores how attachment theory can inform future understanding of the mentally ill. Disorganised attachment is argued to be intimately linked with psychosis despite Bowlby’s early modesty about how attachment theory could inform our understanding of psychosis. Attachment theory’s stress on the importance of grief, separation, trauma and violence are highlighted as causal factors in the aetiology of mental illness, and important issues to address as part of the healing or recovery. The experience of psychosis are conceptualised within their relational and social context, and therapeutic relationships and social change are proposed as being the treatments of choice.

Kate Brown is a Bowlby Centre trained UKCP registered attachment based psychoanalytic psychotherapist who started her career in therapeutic communities working with adults with a variety of mental health difficulties, and with adolescents individually and in groups. She has worked with young mothers and in mainstream community psychiatric services with patients’ families. She has also provided time limited therapy with former servicemen who had experienced complex trauma. She teaches at The Bowlby Centre and has also delivered freelance training. Kate completed an MSc in psychotherapeutic approaches in mental health in 2012. She is a member of the Attachment Journal editorial group, former chair of the clinical forum at The Bowlby Centre. Kate has recently begun a PhD in the psychoanalysis department at Middlesex University in the history of the therapeutic community movement and the treatment of trauma. Kate has recently moved to Bournemouth where she will be developing a private practice.

From the 'Psychosis and Psychoanalysis', a conference organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis.
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In the period following the end of the second world war in Britain, Kleinian psychoanalysis rapidly established itself as an influential paradigm for the treatment and understanding of the psychoses, within both psychoanalytical and medically minded psychiatric circles. Medically qualified psychoanalysts such as Hanna Segal, Herbert Rosenfeld and Wilfred Bion all made seminal contributions and the institutional approval and establishment ratification of their work, continues to be strongly felt to this day. In this paper, we will take up some arguments from the Canadian philosopher of science Ian Hacking, in order to look again at the tightly prescribed clinical techniques of Kleinian psychoanalysis of the period, especially in terms of the relationship between the social conditions of their analytic frame and the kind of theory of the psychoses this frames enables. In the twenty-first century, as we continue to battle to understand and provide effective treatments for those experiencing severe emotional distress, this paper hopes to remind us of the sensitive connection between the way in which we build theories of the mind out of the way we work with our patients and, in turn, the effect these theories have on those who seek our help.

Barry Watt is a psychoanalyst in private practice and a member of the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He is one of the senior practitioners at the Psychosis Therapy Project as well as a housing advocate and community activist.

From the 'Psychosis and Psychoanalysis', a conference organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis.

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Starting from the hypothesis that psychosis makes up a structure, with a precise status for the unconscious, Stijn Vanheule explores how, from a Lacanian point of view, the treatment of psychosis is organized. Special attention is paid to the specificity of the psychotic symptom, or elementary phenomenon, and to the way transference characteristically takes shape. Crucial to this approach of treatment is that the psychoanalyst aims at restoring a place for the subject in relation to the Other, which is threatened in episodes of acute psychosis.

Stijn Vanheule is professor of psychoanalysis and chair of the Department of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Consulting at Ghent University (Belgium), and a psychoanalyst in private practice (member of the New Lacanian School for Psychoanalysis and World Association of Psychoanalyse). He is the author of The Subject of Psychosis – A Lacanian Perspective(Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Diagnosis and the DSM – A Critical Review (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and of multiple papers on Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic research into psychopathology, and clinical psychodiagnostics.

From the 'Psychosis and Psychoanalysis', a conference organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis.

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Professor Brett Kahr in Conversation with Dan Chambers

What actually happens in psychotherapy? And does it really work?

Psychotherapy has become a mainstay of our emotional wellbeing, and yet, in spite of its century-long track record, many people still regard “therapy” with a certain suspicion. Is psychotherapy simply a self-indulgent exercise in navel-gazing for bored, well-heeled neurotics with too much time on their hands, or is it, in fact, an essential route to the achievement of solid mental health, enhanced creativity and productivity, and richer, more gratifying intimate relationships?

In this seminar, the television producer Dan Chambers will speak with Professor Brett Kahr, one of Great Britain’s leading psychotherapists, and together, they will explore in detail both the myths and the realities about the psychotherapeutic process. The evening will consider such fundamental and frequently asked questions as:
  • What actually happens in psychotherapy?
  • How long might therapy last?
  • Does therapy blame everything on one’s parents?
  • Will I be cured or will I be brain-washed?
  • How do I find an experienced and trustworthy psychotherapist?
  • How much will psychotherapy cost?
  • Will I still recognise myself at the end of the process?
  • Might there be any risks associated with undergoing therapy?
We will consider psychotherapy in its historical context, examining the way in which the art and science of psychotherapy has evolved since Sigmund Freud’s creation of the “talking cure”.

This evening workshop will allow ample time for discussion and questions from the audience.

 

Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health field for over thirty-five years. He is currently Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, and Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. He has worked in many branches of the psychotherapy profession as clinician, teacher, researcher, author, and broadcaster, having served previously as Resident Psychotherapist on B.B.C. Radio 2. Author of eight books including Life Lessons from Freud and, also, the best-selling Sex and the Psyche, he is also Series Editor of the “Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series” for Karnac Books and Series Co-Editor of the “History of Psychoanalysis Series”. He practices psychotherapy with individuals and with couples in Hampstead, North London, and he is a Trustee of the Freud Museum and of Freud Museum Publications.

Dan Chambers is the Creative Director of Blink Films, one of Great Britain’s leading factual independent television production companies, with an output covering history, science, documentary, and cookery for all the key channels in the United Kingdom and all the leading factual channels in America. Previously, he has been Head of Science Commissioning at Channel 4 and the Director of Programmes at Channel 5. He has directed science documentaries for the Equinox science strand, and he has produced the Channel 4 and P.B.S. history strand, Secrets of the Dead. Dan studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and he is currently a Governor of the London Film School and a Trustee of the Freud Museum.
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Panel discussion - Jane Haberlin, Jeanette Winterson and Eleanor Longden

Hearing voices has been described as everything from schizophrenic to godlike. Radical psychiatry in the 1960s contested what today are termed 'auditory hallucinations' seeing them as containing what couldn't be said. The psychology researcher Eleanor Longden isn't crazy -- and neither are many other people who hear voices in their heads. She says the psychic phenomenon is a "creative and ingenious survival strategy" that should be seen "not as an abstract symptom of illness to be endured, but as complex, significant, and meaningful experience to be explored," Recent research shows that there are a variety of explanations for hearing voices, with many people beginning to hear voices as a response to extreme stress or trauma.
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Adam Phillips in conversation with Deborah Levy

     
Unforbidden Pleasures is the dazzling new book from Adam Phillips, author of Missing Out and Going Sane.

Adam Phillips takes Oscar Wilde as a springboard for a deep dive into the meanings and importance of the Unforbidden, from the fall of our 'first parents' Adam and Eve to the work of the great twentieth-century psychoanalytic thinkers.

Unforbidden pleasures, he argues, are always the ones we tend not to think about, yet when you look into it, it is probable that we get as much pleasure, if not more, from them. And we may have underestimated just how restricted our restrictiveness, in thrall to the forbidden and its rules, may make us.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent books are On Kindness, co-written with the historian Barbara Taylor, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life, On Balance and One Way and Another.

‘Every mind-blowing book from Adam Phillips suspends all the certainties we are most attached to and somehow makes this feel exhilarating’ - Deborah Levy

‘Phillips radiates infectious charm. The brew of gaiety, compassion, exuberance and idealism is heady and disarming’ - Sunday Times

‘Phillips is one of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson for our time’ - John Banville

Unforbidden Pleasures is published by Hamish Hamilton (5 November 2015)

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including The Unloved, Swallowing Geography, and Beautiful Mutants. Her novel Swimming Home was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2012 Levy adapted two of Freud's case histories, Dora and The Wolfman for BBC Radio 4. Things I Don’t Want to Know is the title of Levy’s sparkling response to George Orwell’s essay ‘Why I Write’, an autobiographical essay on writing, gender politics and philosophy. Her new novel, Hot Milk, will be published in 2016 by Hamish Hamilton.

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Session 4: The Unconscious and the Body

Katerina Fotopoulou - The Embodied Relational Unconscious
The Freudian Unconscious was closely related to the mental representation of the body, and particularly the satisfaction of its biological needs. Katerina Fotopoulou will talk about 'the embodied relational unconscious', discussing certain classical and contemporary psychoanalytic insights on the unconscious that shed light on contemporary clinical and neuro-scientific findings. Among other fascinating things, we will learn about the psychological mechanisms by which body feelings are influenced by internalised social expectations and interactions; how bodies are interpersonally mentalised and perceived to form the basis of ourselves.

Aikaterini (Katerina) Fotopoulou PhD is Senior Lecturer at the Psychoanalysis Unit, Psychology and Language Sciences Division, UCL and Research Affiliate at the UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Her current research projects focus on body feelings, sensorimotor signals and related body representations in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders of body awareness; she is interested in psychological and neural mechanisms by which our interoceptive body feelings, as well as multimodal representations of the body, are influenced by internalised social expectations, on-line interactions with other people and by neuropeptides known to enhance social feelings. These studies point to unique neural mechanisms by which our bodies are interpersonally ‘mentalised’ and perceived to form the basis of our selves. Katerina is the Director of the London Neuropsychoanalysis Centre and runs the London Neuropsychoanalysis Group on: ‘Psychodynamic Neuroscience and Neuropsychology’. With Conway and Pfaff, she is co-editor of the volume From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Psychodynamic Neuroscience (2012). In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious British Neuropsychological Society’s Early Career Award, The Elizabeth Warrington Prize, as well as the Clifford Yorke Prize (2006) by the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society, for Early Career Contributions to the field, and the Papanicolaou Prize in a joined meeting of the World Hellenic Biomedical Society and the Hellenic Medical Society of Britain. Katerina is also finishing her Clinical Doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Psychology, accredited by the British Psychological Society and the Health Professions Council and leading to eligibility for Professional Chartership.
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Session 3: The Freudian Unconscious Revisited


Salman Akhtar - 14 Proposals in Freud’s ‘The Unconscious'
Salman will revisit some of Freud’s most central claims regarding the nature of the unconscious and examine their current status within and beyond psychoanalysis.

Anouchka Grose - Language and the Unconscious
Anouchka will respond to Salman’s talk from a contemporary Lacanian perspective, with a particular emphasis on the role of the language.

Salman Akhtar MD, is a world-renowned psychoanalyst and psychiatrist and one of the most creative and prolific psychoanalytic writers. He was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Centre of Philadelphia. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He has delivered many prestigious addresses and lectures and is recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, which include the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Best Paper of the Year Award (1995), the Margaret Mahler Literature Prize (1996), the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians’ Sigmund Freud Award (2000), the American College of Psychoanalysts’ Laughlin Award (2003), the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Edith Sabshin Award (2000), Columbia University’s Robert Leibert Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychoanalysis (2004), the American Psychiatric Association’s Kun Po Soo Award (2004), Irma Bland Award for being the Outstanding Teacher of Psychiatric Residents in the US (2005), and the Sigourney Award (2012). Dr Akhtar is an internationally sought speaker and teacher, and his books have been translated into many languages. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.
Anouchka Grose is a Lacanian psychoanalyst and writer practising in London. She is a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, where she regularly lectures. She is the author of No More Silly Love Songs: a Realist’s Guide to Romance (Portobello, 2010) and Are you Considering Therapy? (Karnac, 2011), and is the editor of 'Hysteria Today', a collection of essays to be published by Karnac later this year. She also writes for The Guardian and teaches at Camberwell School of Art.
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Session 1: The Unconscious and the Brain

Mark Solms - The Id is Not Unconscious

Mark will present neuroscientific evidence to support his argument that the mental functions Freud called ‘id’ are not unconscious! He will discuss some implications of this argument for what psychoanalysts and psychotherapists do clinically.

Mark Solms is a psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, widely reported to have first coined the term Neuro-Psychoanalysis, a rapidly developing field of interdisciplinary scholarship and research aiming to provide bridges between the neurosciences and psychoanalytic theory. He is Professor in Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Honorary Lecturer in Neurosurgery at St Bartholomew’s and Royal London School of Medicine, Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and Chair of the Research Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association, Associate Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, Honorary Member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society, and Member of the South African Clinical Neuropsychology Association and of the British Neuropsychological Society. He is a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and Honorary Fellow of the American College of Psychoanalysts and of the American College of Psychiatrists. He has won many prestigious awards, including the Sigourney Award, and has authored a multitude of chapters, articles and books including A moment of Transition: Two Neuroscientific Articles by Sigmund Freud (1990), The Neuropsychology of Dreams: A Clinico-Anatomical Study (1997), Clinical Studies in Neuro-Psychoanalysis (with K Kaplan-Solms, 2000) and, with Oliver Turnball, The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience (2002). He was founding editor of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis.

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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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 Session 1: INTRODUCTION
Del Lowenthal - Is there an unfortunate need for critical psychotherapy?
Respondent: Julian Lousada
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