REVOLUTIONS IN TECHNIQUE:
On Bion’s r/evolution in psychoanalysis
Larry Brown, PhD and Annie Reiner, PhD
Discussant: James Ogilvie, PhD
Moderator: Steve Ellman, PhD
9am – 9:30am — BREAKFAST
9:30am – 10:30am: Dr. Annie Reiner (followed by audience Q&A)
Ferenczi’s ‘astra’ and Bion’s ‘O’– A clinical perspective on early trauma.
Some of Ferenczi’s controversial intuitions about primitive mental life were before their time, and many are now accepted as part of mainstream psychoanalysis. His ideas about the effects of early emotional trauma on infants, for instance, are useful in understanding some uncanny aspects of psychic functioning related to Bion’s most revolutionary and controversial concept of O. Dr. Reiner will discuss Ferenczi’s idea of the neglect suffered by infants of depressed or mentally ill mothers, and mothers who lacked attunement to their infants. He hypothesized that they attempt to escape these feelings with a flight from the self to what he called “the astra”. These “wise babies,” as he called them, exhibited “strange dreams … [owing to] their powers to a regression to this infantile state of omniscience and supreme wisdom.” Dr. Reiner will examine some of these “strange dreams” in detailed clinical examples of uncanny intuitions of patients, both in dreams and in waking life. She will discuss both positive and negative aspects of this early defense, and its relationship to the development of thinking.
10:30 – 10:45 — COFFEE BREAK
10:45am – 11:15am: Response by Dr. James Ogilvie
11:15am – 12:30pm: Further remarks by Dr. Reiner, discussion with Dr. Ogilvie moderated by Dr. Steven Ellman. Audience Q&A
12:30pm – 2:00pm — LUNCH
2:00pm – 3:00pm: Dr. Larry Brown (followed by audience Q&A)
Three Unconscious Pathways to Representing the Analyst’s Experience: Reverie, Countertransference Dreams and Joke-Work.
This paper explores three pathways for representing the analyst’s unconscious experience in the here-and-now of the clinical hour: reveries, countertransference dreams and joke-work. The author terms these three activities spontaneous unconscious constructions which are formulated within the framework of Bionian and Freudian theories. These appear unbidden in the analyst’s mind during the session and signal the analyst’s unconscious work to give meaning to the emotions that arise within the context of the unconscious intersubjective field of the moment. Clinical material from the analysis of an adult man is presented to illustrate the analyst’s use of a joke, a reverie and a countertransference dream as three modalities that unconsciously represent the emotions alive in the analytic encounter.
3:00pm -3:15pm — BREAK
3:15pm – 3:45pm: Response by Dr. James Ogilvie
3:45pm – 4:30pm: Further remarks by Dr. Brown; discussion with audience and panelists moderated by Dr. Ellman.
Larry Brown, PhD is a graduate of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute (BPSI) in both Child and Adult psychoanalysis and is a supervising child analyst there. He is on the Editorial Board of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly and is President of the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies. His book, Intersubjective Processes and the Unconscious: An Integration of Freudian, Kleinian and Bionian Perspectives, was published in 2011 by Routledge, and he also co-edited two other recent books: Growth and Turbulence in the Container/Contained: Bion’s Continuing Legacy with Howard Levine (Routledge, 2013); and On Freud’s ‘Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning.’ with Gabriela Legorreta (Karnac Books, 2016). He has new book, Transformational Processes in Clinical Psychoanalysis: Dreaming, Emotions and the Present Moment to be published in summer 2018 by IPA Publications and Karnac.
Annie Reiner Ph.D., Psy.D., LCSW is a senior faculty member and training analyst at The Psychoanalytic Center of California (PCC) in Los Angeles, and a Fellow of the IPA. Her work was profoundly influenced by the ideas of Wilfred Bion, with whom she studied in the 1970s. Her writings appear in numerous journals and anthologies, and James Grotstein said that Reiner’s first two books “place her high among Bion scholars.” She is author of The Quest For Conscience and The Birth of the Mind (Karnac, 2009), and Bion & Being: Passion and the Creative Mind (Karnac, 2012), an examination of Bion’s concept of O through examinations of philosophy, theology and the Arts. Her most recent book is Of Things Invisible To Mortal Sight: Celebrating the Work of James S. Grotstein. Also an accomplished poet, playwright, and painter, Dr. Reiner has won awards for her poems and children’s stories, with 4 books of poems, a book of short stories, and 6 children’s books which she also illustrated. Dr. Reiner practices and .supervises in Beverly Hills, California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
James Ogilvie, PhD is a graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is a co-founder and faculty member of the Contemplative Studies Project of New York and guest faculty at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. James maintains a private practice in Manhattan where he also leads study groups on Bion and on “Wittgenstein for Psychoanalysts.”
1. To describe and understand the role of infantile emotional trauma in the aetiology of mental pathology.
2. To define and understand Ferenczi’s theory of the “astra” in relation both to highly intuitive and dissociative states.
3. To examine and understand Bion’s concept of “O” in relation to Ferenczi’s “astra”.
4. To recognize clinically both the positive aspects of highly intuitive states and how they may also obstruct thinking.
5. To understand the similar psychodynamics by which reveries, jokes and countertransference dreams arise in the clinical hour.
6. To learn about how these phenomena are the analyst’s unconscious representations of the emotions permeating the intersubjective field between analyst and patient.
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(5) CE credits will be granted to participants who have registered, have documented evidence of attendance of the entire program and have completed the on-line evaluation form. Upon completion of the evaluation form a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to all participants who comply with these requirements.
Many thanks from the IPTAR Program Committee: Jeanne Even (Chair), Eva Atsalis, Susan Berger, Carolyn Ellman, Steven Ellman, Susan Finkelstein, Anna Fishzon, Judy Ann Kaplan, Masha Mimran, Bruce Reis, Jamieson Webster