Symbolisation can be defined as an operation by which something will represent another thing; but one must also be able to represent an absent object and distinguish the symbol from the symbolized. We might thus consider symbolisation as true imaginative play that promotes the capacity to fantasize as well as organize psychic space. Using a clinical example of a schizophrenic patient who has committed a murder and is undergoing an individual psychoanalytic psychodrama, the presentation (using video excerpts of the first interview and psychodrama sessions) will show what is at stake in the psychotic solution. Gibeault will show possible conditions for the elaboration of violent and destructive thought processes enabling the patient to regain the capacity for dreaming and bearing witness, and to forgo his psychotic defenses.
1) Participants will be able to define the meaning and functions of symbolization and representation in the psychic apparatus of overall mental functioning.
2) Participants will be able to reflect the similarities and differences in psychic structure and the capacity for symbolization in both neurotic and psychotic mental functioning.
3) Participants will be able to discuss the ways psychodrama can be used in work with psychotic individuals and the possibility for transformation it offers to those with less disturbed levels of psychic development.
Alain Gibeault, PhD is a Training Analyst of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and Past Director of the Evelyne and Jean Kestemberg Centre for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Mental Health Association of Paris 13th). He is Past President of the European Psycho-Analytical Federation (1995-1999) and Past Secretary General of the International Psychoanalytical Association (1999-2003). He has contributed to the development of psychoanalysis in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall and especially in Russia. He has been nominated in November 2006 Honorary Professor of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. He is President of the Education Committee of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society. Dr. Gibeault has edited with Dana Birksted-Breen and Sara Flanders an anthology of French psychoanalytic papers entitled Reading French Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2010) and the book, Chemins de la symbolisation (Presses Universitaires de France, 2010). He participated for ten years in the EPF Working Party on Initiating Psychoanalysis, which led to Initiating Psychoanalysis. Perspectives (Routledge, 2012).
Danielle Knafo, PhD is a professor at LIU Post in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. She is also faculty and supervisor at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She has written and lectured on numerous subjects, including psychoanalysis, art and the creative process, gender, sexuality, and perversion, trauma and psychosis, and technology. Her three most recent books are Dancing with the Unconscious: The Art of Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalysis of Art; The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture; and Sex, Drugs, and Creativity: Searching for Magic in a Disenchanted World. Dr. Knafo maintains a private practice in Manhattan and Great Neck, NY.
Many thanks from the IPTAR Program Committee: Jeanne Even (Chair), Eva Atsalis, Carolyn Ellman, Susan Finkelstein, Anna Fishzon, Lynne Herbst, Judy Ann Kaplan, Masha Mimran, Jamieson Webster.
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