Autumn events – Institute of Psychoanalysis (London)

inst psychoanalysisThe Institute of Psychoanalysis in London has just released this year’s Autumn schedule:

21 September 2011
Comparing the Incomparable and Formalising the Unformulated: the Problem of Clinical Research in Psychoanalysis

Science tries to build consensus about truth by making formal statements about “reality”. These claims are shared by supporting them with the most transparent possible foundations. Defined in that way and following Bion, we can say scientific knowledge is the product of “work group” rather than “basic assumption” group functioning. By extension, insofar as we aim to function as a “work group” and base our ideas on reality, then knowledge about psychoanalysis needs to be developed as a scientific undertaking and to be very firmly geared to the task of relating what we do to what we can sense about it and share with each other.

Making consensually agreed statements about the inner and outer realities that psychoanalysts study is frustratingly difficult. But difficulty is not a reason to abandon the exercise and so, inevitably, resort to truth claims based on omnipotent thinking and basic assumption group functioning.

In this lecture David Tuckett will ask how we can know and share what we as psychoanalysts do when we do psychoanalysis and how we define and communicate our differences to each other in a rigorous way – so that we can understand what they “really” are and reflect on them respectfully.

He will set out a number of brief clinical examples of what appear to be both different and similar styles of work and then consider what are the problems we encounter – if we try to be rigorous in our comparisons as well as about how they might be overcome.

24 September 2011
Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Thinking about Projective Identification

Psychoanalyst Priscilla Roth and former psychiatrist, author and philosophy lecturer Louise Braddock will talk about the concept of projective identification, a concept of great interest to psychoanalysts and philosophers which raises questions about, among other things, identity and boundaries.

Psychoanalyst Priscilla Roth will refer to the kinds of complex mental mechanisms often used by people to manage extremely difficult emotional experiences, and to the ways in which psychoanalysts have been able to observe and understand these mental mechanisms. Using clinical material she will show how and why projective identifications emerge within an analysis and that they often need not be static, but may be ready to respond to developments in within the analytic relationship.

Former psychiatrist, author and philosophy teacher Louise Braddock will go on to explore projective identification in relation to imagination. She says: “Projective identification presents a conceptual challenge to philosophy. The psychoanalytic language used to describe its operation does not readily ‘translate’ into the terms or the ideas used by philosophers to theorise the mind. However, the exceptional clarity of the clinical description in Priscilla Roth’s paper provides a basis for attempting a philosophical account that will make this key psychoanalytic concept clear to lay persons, those not trained in what Michael Rustin has called the ‘craft skill of psychoanalytic observation of subtle mental processes.

From 5 October 2011
Introductory Lectures

This two-part series of lectures on psychoanalysis, each followed by a discussion in small seminar groups, provides an overall view of the core concepts in psychoanalysis and their main applications. Participants are provided with basic texts for each lecture. Further reading is suggested and is available in the Institute’s library. The course is suitable for people new in the field, as well as those with experience.

The meetings are held weekly during the autumn and spring terms at The Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

The Introductory Lectures and seminars are also given in Belfast, Colchester and Leeds.

To ensure continuity of discussion, participants are encouraged to attend the entire series of lectures and their accompanying seminars. (See for a complete list)

15 October 2011
Music and Psychoanalysis

This event will investigate the themes of external and internal migration in dramatic masterpieces of Shakepeare and Verdi: Otello, Othello and La Traviata. Chaired by David Black.

After discussing some of the characteristics of the leading characters in La Traviata, Francis Grier will set out the principal events and preoccupations in Verdi’s personal life at the time of writing and staging the opera, and the possible unconscious significance of the opera to the composer.

Richard Rusbridger will identify some themes of psychoanalytic interest in Shakespeare’s Othello, and see to what extent, and in what way, Verdi’s music in Otello reflects these.

27 October 2011
James MacKeith Memorial Lecture: What Price Imprisonment?

Lord Ramsbotham will draw from his experience as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons (1995-2001) and from his book Prisongate – the shocking state of Britain’s Prisons and the need for visionary change (2003) to address the question of why the prison system was neither structured nor organised to achieve its central aim: that of protecting the public by preventing re-offending. The very high reconviction rate demonstrates this failure.

He will analyse the prison management emphasis on process rather than outcomes and the inadequate provision of programmes designed to help prisoners to live law-abiding lives. He will also look at the apparent fixation on the ‘bad’ element of the prison population and the insufficient attention paid to the much larger ‘sad’ and ‘mad’ element, virtually all of whom return to society. He will suggest proposals for how change might be brought about stimulated by today’s economic situation.

28 October 2011
About Memory, Interpretation and Object Relation in Today’s Psychoanalysis

The guiding principle of this lecture will be the work of figurability. Cesar Botella will present some clinical sessions which will show the limitations of the notions of memory, interpretation and object relation, and the necessity, especialy for borderline patients, to open up new ways of viewing psychoanalytic practice.

3-6 November 2011
Sixth European Psychoanalytic Film Festival

Border-Crossing: Migration Across National and Mental States

The Sixth European Psychoanalytic Film Festival (epff6) will include screenings of some remarkable European films under the theme Border-Crossing: Migration Across National and Mental States. Join us for:

– Discussions of the films with their directors, psychoanalysts and the audience
– Lectures and round-tables with analysts and film scholars
– A social programme to accompany the festival

The festival is aimed at anyone with a passion for cinema who would like the opportunity to see and explore excellent European films, providing a forum for creative dialogue between psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, film makers, academics, critics, students and film enthusiasts. It is organised by The Institute of Psychoanalysis under the Honorary Presidency of Bernardo Bertolucci.

Fore more information, visit

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