Author Archive

Guardian article: “Interpretation of seams? Sigmund Freud’s couch needs £5,000 restoration”

This past Sunday 5 May, The Guardian featured an article entitled “Interpretation of seams? Sigmund Freud’s couch needs £5,000 restoration”. It recounts how the Freud Museum in London has launched an appeal for funds to restore ‘possibly the most famous piece of furniture in the world':

It is possibly the most famous piece of furniture in the world, but the couch in Sigmund Freud‘s consulting room is now sagging under the weight of more than a century of dreams, terrors, traumas and phobias, and is overdue for a facelift.

The Freud Museum in London has launched an appeal on what would have been his 157th birthday for funds to restore the couch on which his patients lay while they bared their souls to him.

Many of Freud’s most famous patients, whose psychological traumas helped him to formulate his theories of psychoanalysis, lay on the couch. They included the “Wolf Man”, a wealthy Russian whose sister and father both killed themselves, nicknamed for a childhood dream he recalled while lying on the couch; “Dora”, whom Freud diagnosed as suffering from hysteria; and the “Rat Man”, named for his obsessive fantasies.

To read the entire article, click here.

Summer events – The Institute of Psychoanalysis (London)

Summer events from The Institute of Psychoanalysis

For more details and online booking visit www.beyondthecouch.org.uk

Wednesday 8 May 2013
Open Evening

If you have ever thought about becoming a psychoanalyst, this evening offers you the chance to hear senior analysts speak about the profession and training process, hear perspectives from current students, join small group discussions and tour the Institute.

The evening is open to anyone interested in the possibility of training as a psychoanalyst or learning about other events including the Foundation Course.

Find out more

Friday 17 – Saturday 18 May 2013
Psychoanalysis, Literature and Politics: Celebrating Hanna Segal’s Contributions

A memorial conference celebrating the career of Hanna Segal, one of the most eminent psychoanalysts of her generation. She made fundamental contributions to psychoanalytic theory and practice, including work on symbolic function, creativity and aesthetics. She also maintained a deep political engagement throughout her life, uniquely combining her understanding of very primitive layers of the mind with an acute political sensitivity. Her contribution has been recognised all over the world and her works translated into numerous langauges.

Find out more

Friday 7 June 2013
Transference and Countertransference with Somatic Patients

A lecture presented by psychoanalyst Marilia Aisenstein, in which she will examine Freud’s work to try to understand why his interest in countertransference seemed to have disappeared and propose that his papers on thought, transference and telepathy could be the basis for a modern view on countertransference. Marilia will also develop her own views on transference with somatic patients and neurotic patients in general.

Find out more

Saturday 15 June 2013
Screening Conditions: Surviving Life
Directed by Jan Svankmajer, 2010

A screening of this brilliant surrealistic fantasy about dreams and psychoanalysis. Eugene leads a double life – one real, the other in his dreams. In real life he has a wife called Milada. In his dreams he has a young girlfriend called Eugenia. Sensing that these dreams have some deeper meaning, he goes to see a psychoanalyst, Dr Holubova, who interprets them for him. The film will be introduced by psychoanalyst Andrea Sabbadini and followed by a discussion  with film critic, broadcaster and historian Ian Christie.

Find out more

Saturday 29 June 2013
Oedipus Through the Life Cycle: Adulthood

Psychoanalyst Isabel Hernandez Halton examines the developments in theories about women’s sexuality since Freud’s postulation that ‘the sexual life of adult women is a dark continent for psychology’. Michael Halton, psychoanalyst and psychologist, explores what may be distinctive in male sexuality and how Freud’s  ideas might be reviewed in the light of Klein’s emphasis on the Primal Scene in both its sexual and non sexual dynamics. Chaired by Leon Kleimberg.

Find out more

New issue – History of the Human Sciences

A new issue of History of the Human Sciences is now online and contains the following two articles which may be of interest to H-Madness readers:

Badness, madness and the brain – the late 19th-century controversy on immoral persons and their malfunctioning brains (Felix Schirmann)

In the second half of the 19th-century, a group of psychiatric experts discussed the relation between brain malfunction and moral misconduct. In the ensuing debates, scientific discourses on immorality merged with those on insanity and the brain. This yielded a specific definition of what it means to be immoral: immoral and insane due to a disordered brain. In this context, diverse neurobiological explanations for immoral mind and behavior existed at the time. This article elucidates these different brain-based explanations via five historical cases of immoral persons. In addition, the article analyses the associated controversies in the context of the period’s psychiatric thinking. The rendering of the immoral person as brain-disordered is scrutinized in terms of changes in moral agency. Furthermore, a present immoral person is discussed to highlight commonalities and differences in past and present reasoning.

Making the cut: The production of ‘self-harm’ in post-1945 Anglo-Saxon psychiatry (Chris Millard)

‘Deliberate self-harm’, ‘self-mutilation’ and ‘self-injury’ are just some of the terms used to describe one of the most prominent issues in British mental health policy in recent years. This article demonstrates that contemporary literature on ‘self-harm’ produces this phenomenon (to varying extents) around two key characteristics. First, this behaviour is predominantly performed by those identified as female. Second, this behaviour primarily involves cutting the skin. These constitutive characteristics are traced back to a corpus of literature produced in the 1960s and 1970s in North American psychiatric inpatient institutions; analysis shows how pre-1960 works were substantially different. Finally, these gendered and behavioural assertions are shown to be the result of historically specific processes of exclusion and emphasis.

For a complete table of contents, click here.

Freud museum receives archives of Sándor Ferenczi

A note recently added on the website of the Freud Museum (London):

The Freud Museum recently received a donation of an important archive of letters, manuscripts, notebooks and photographs related to the life and work of Hungarian psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi. The archive, which includes Ferenczi’s clinical diary and a number of unpublished documents, is of great significance to the history of psychoanalysis. It was entrusted to the Museum by Dr Judith Dupont, psychoanalyst and literary representative for Ferenczi’s works. Dr Dupont was born in 1925 in Budapest and comes from a family with strong links to psychoanalysis in Hungary: she is the granddaughter of Vilma Kovács, who trained as a psychoanalyst under Ferenczi, and the niece of Michael and Alice Balint, who were both leading psychoanalysts. She assumed responsibility for Ferenczi’s literary estate at the request of his two daughters, and decided to donate the archive to the Freud Museum so that it could be made accessible to all who wish to view it.

Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933) was one of the most innovative psychoanalysts of his generation. An early follower of Freud, with whom he also underwent personal analysis, he was instrumental in helping to establish psychoanalysis internationally. He was a key figure in the founding of the International Psychoanalytic Association, and was founder of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society – which celebrates its centenary this year – in 1913. He made numerous original contributions to psychoanalytic theory and pioneered new, sometimes controversial techniques that challenged the notion of the analyst as a neutral observer, instead encouraging active and emotive participation in the analytic work. He is remembered today for his compassionate, humanistic approach to therapeutic work.

The Freud Museum is committed to preserving the Ferenczi archive and making it available to all who wish to view it. A project to conserve, catalogue and digitise the material is underway, and selected documents and objects will be showcased once this initial work has been completed. The complete archive, alongside the Museum’s extensive archive of documents related to Sigmund and Anna Freud, will be viewable by appointment.

Sincerity and Freedom in Psychoanalysis (working title): a conference inspired by Sándor Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary
In October the Museum will be holding a conference exploring Ferenczi’s life and work, partly inspired by the documents in the Ferenczi archive. Bookings will be taken from July. If you would like to receive further announcements about this conference please contact Stefan Marianski.

For more information: http://www.freud.org.uk/events/75075/freud-museum-receives-ferenczi-archive/

CFP: From Moral Treatment to Psychological Therapies (UCL)

CFP: From Moral Treatment to Psychological Therapies: Histories of Psychotherapeutics from the York Retreat to the Present Day.

Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines, UCL
11-13th October 2013

Whilst the history of psychiatry has become a well developed field of scholarship, there remain few examinations of psychotherapeutic treatments beyond histories of psychoanalytic approaches. This conference will bring together recent historical research on therapeutic treatments for mental distress and disorder, from the 18th century up to the present. It seeks to explore how such therapies were developed, their institutional and intellectual contexts, and the debates and controversies which may surround their use. ‘Psychotherapeutics’ is defined in its broadest terms, and is intended to include approaches that have been accepted by the medical or state establishments, as well as those practiced outside official institutional settings. Such modes of therapy could include moral treatment, mesmerism, mental healing, ‘talking’ therapies with a wide variety of theoretical bases, from psychoanalysis to cognitive therapy, as well as professional interventions such as those from psychiatric nursing, mental health social work, occupational therapy, play therapy and art therapy.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• The philosophical basis of therapies, such as existential, gestalt or behavioural approaches etc.
• Connections between the generation of therapeutic methods and their orginators’ biographies.
• Institutional, economic and political influences on the development of therapeutic practice.
• Psychotherapeutics in the health services.
• The professionalization and regulation of psychotherapeutic practice.
• The relationship between psychotherapeutic methods and other fields of knowledge, e.g. pedagogy, criminology, the neurosciences etc.
• Debates and controversies about psychotherapeutic approaches.
• The development of specific approaches for different age groups.
• Psychotherapeutic concepts in popular culture and the media.

Abstracts of up to 500 words for 20 minute papers should be sent to Sarah Marks at sarah.marks@ucl.ac.uk. Proposals for themed panels with a maximum of four participants are also welcome. The deadline for individual papers and panel proposals is the 10th June 2013. Participants will be notified whether their papers have been accepted by 20th June 2013.

“Appily Ever After: A Smartphone Shrink” (NYTimes)

The New York Times recently published an article by Judith Newman entitled “Appily Ever After: A Smartphone Shrink”, which H-Madness readers might enjoy. An excerpt reads as follows:

“I worry my work won’t be good enough,” I write.

“Why is that?” the machine asks.

“Because my parents were so critical,” I answer.

“Why is that?” the machine asks.

“Because they were Jewish,” I reply.

“Why is that?”

“Because they don’t believe Jesus Christ is our savior.” I feel my iPad is getting a little personal.

Then the machine triumphantly concludes: “This is what is really holding you back: because they don’t believe Christ is our savior.”

“So what are you going to do about it?” the machine asks.

“Uh, convert?” I tap.

Then the machine smugly asks: “Did this tool help you get unstuck?”

Conclusion: I spent about an hour and a half learning that I am Jewish, which does, in fact, explain a lot.”

To access the entire article, click here.

Special issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin: One century of Karl Jaspers’ Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913-2013)

The journal Schizophrenia Bulletin is celebrating one century of Karl Jaspers’ Allg. Psychopathol. with a special issue:

Editorials

Assen Jablensky

Karl Jaspers: Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Humanist

Extract

Mario Maj

Karl Jaspers and the Genesis of Delusions in Schizophrenia

Special Features

First Person Account

Adam Timlett

Controlling Bizarre Delusions

Schizophrenia in Translation-Feature Editor: Thomas H. McGlashan

Gregory P. Strauss

The Emotion Paradox of Anhedonia in Schizophrenia: Or Is It?

Environment and Schizophrenia-Feature Editor: Jim van Os

Nikos C. Stefanis, Milan Dragovic, Brian D. Power, Assen Jablensky, David Castle, and Vera Anne Morgan

Age at Initiation of Cannabis Use Predicts Age at Onset of Psychosis: The 7- to 8-Year Trend

Abstract

Cochrane Corner-Feature Editor: Clive E. Adams

Richard Morriss, Indira Vinjamuri, Mohammad Amir Faizal, Catherine A. Bolton, and James P. McCarthy

Training to Recognize the Early Signs of Recurrence in Schizophrenia

At Issue

Michael F. Green, William P. Horan, and Catherine A. Sugar

Has the Generalized Deficit Become the Generalized Criticism?

Commentary on Green et al. (This Issue)

James M. Gold and Dwight Dickinson

“Generalized Cognitive Deficit” in Schizophrenia: Overused or Underappreciated?

Extract

Commentary on Green et al. (This Issue)

Emilio Fernandez-Egea, Clemente Garcia-Rizo, Jorge Zimbron, and Brian Kirkpatrick

Diabetes or Prediabetes in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Nonaffective Psychosis? A Historical and Contemporary View

Theme: One Century of Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913 to 2013) by Karl Jaspers Guest Editor: Paolo Fusar-Poli

Theme Introduction

Paolo Fusar-Poli

One Century of Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913 to 2013) by Karl Jaspers

Josef Parnas, Louis A. Sass, and Dan ZahaviRediscovering Psychopathology: The Epistemology and Phenomenology of the Psychiatric Object

Abstract

Aaron L. Mishara and Paolo Fusar-Poli

The Phenomenology and Neurobiology of Delusion Formation During Psychosis Onset: Jaspers, Truman Symptoms, and Aberrant Salience

Abstract

Giovanni Stanghellini, Derek Bolton, and William K. M. Fulford

Person-Centered Psychopathology of Schizophrenia: Building on Karl Jaspers’ Understanding of Patient’s Attitude Toward His Illness

As well as the above thematic pieces, the issue also contains a number of regular articles. Click here for more information.
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