Newport Psychoanalytic Institute
2018 Annual Conference
“Expeditions into Unmapped Mental Life: Working with Unrepresentable Parts of the Personality,”
with Avner Bergstein
January 6th, 2018
For a conference flyer click here, for the registration form click here. Included below is a more detailed description of the conference.
Questions can be directed to the NPI administrative office, firstname.lastname@example.org or 714.505.9080. We look forward to seeing you there!
Expeditions into Unmapped Mental Life:
Working with Unrepresentable Parts of Personality
Presenter: Avner Bergstein, MA, FIPA
Discussants: Barnet Malin, MD and Robin Goldberg, PhD, PsyD
Our discussion will focus on our capacity to approach primitive levels of mental functioning where experience cannot be verbally communicated and dynamically interpreted, but must first be lived in the here-and-now of the analysis. We shall draw attention to the impasse often met with in treating the so-called difficult patient. The analyst, caught up with the patient in an undreamable nightmare, may be tempted to work at a more symbolic, insight-giving level, assuming higher psychic and mental integration. However, interpretations focusing on conflicting desires, symbolic meanings or repressed and displaced parts of the personality and the defenses against them, do not reach patients who are trapped in these primitive mental states in a way that facilitates psychic change.
We will explore how splitting, fragmentation and numbing of the patient's and analyst's thinking may be signs pointing to the possibility of a primitive catastrophe being (re)lived in the psychoanalytic setting The patient's material may seem incoherent but incoherence might be the communication the patient is trying to convey. Tolerating this sensation of fragmentation requires a different attentiveness by the analyst, one that is driven less by rational thinking and more by intuitive vigilance to one's own self. The analyst may thus be required to 'observe' and 'dream', through the exercise of analytic intuition, an emotional experience which is unobservable or undreamable by the patient. This often amounts to suffering long periods of painful distress, helplessness, despair, persecution and not knowing where the analytic couple is headed to. This will be illustrated with detailed clinical material.
After attending this conference participants will:
- Expand their capacity to get in touch with primitive mental states
- Learn to differentiate between different levels of unconscious experience
- Acquire tools for identifying primitive levels of mental functioning leading to a therapeutic impasse
- Become acquainted with the idea of a drive to communicate
- Acquire further understanding of some of Bion's crucial concepts
- Appreciate Bion's specific contribution to psychoanalytic theory
Lunch will be provided. Please see registration form for lunch options.
Post Conference Consultation Brunch Sunday, January 7th (Space Limited): Please call the office or complete registration form for registration information.
For 1/4 event flyer click here
For 1/6 & 1/7 event flyer click here