Thank you to the nearly 150 who attended our conference Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31 at the CNA Conference Center.
Co-sponsored by Yellowbrick Foundation
Neuropsychoanalysis starts from the assumption that the brain and mind are the same thing, considered from two different observational perspectives (objective and subjective, respectively). This implies that everything we have learnt about the brain has implications for how we conceive the mind, and vice-versa.
It is not scientifically acceptable to have two different and incompatible theories about the same part of nature. In this workshop, the two perspectives are reconciled with each other, and the practical implications for our clinical work as psychoanalysts and psychotherapists are discussed in detail.
Saturday: Theoretical Lessons
The first session discusses how basic psychoanalytic concepts can be translated into basic neuroscientific concepts and vice-versa. Then it focuses on one important respect in which the two sets of concepts cannot be easily translated, because they contradict each other.
This contradiction concerns the fact that the part of the brain which performs the functions that Freud called the id is not unconscious, as Freud had claimed. In fact, it is the fount of all consciousness. This session covers:
- The affective basis of consciousness itself (the conscious id)
- The unconscious nature of cognition (the unconscious ego)
- Working memory: the role of consciousness in cognition
Objective: Learn about the discrepancies between modern neuroscientific and classical psychoanalytic conceptions of ‘id’ functions, especially in relation to consciousness.
The second session focuses on the parts of the brain that correlate with what Freud called the unconscious, and explains the implications for our understanding of this central psychoanalytic notion that arise from new findings about the functions of these parts of the brain (for example, the finding that the unconscious memory systems do not contain representational images). This culminates in a radical new conceptualization of repression. This session covers:
- Consolidation, automatization and repression (the ‘cognitive’ and ‘dynamic’ unconscious)
- Reconsolidation (“consciousness arises instead of a memory trace”)
- Repression and defense (the return of the repressed)
Objective: Learn about the discrepancies between modern neuroscientific and classical psychoanalytic conceptions of memory, especially in relation to repression.
The third session outlines modern knowledge about the basic drives and instincts of the human brain, which requires substantial modification of Freudian ‘instinct theory’. This knowledge also has many important implications for our understanding (and classification) of various psychopathologies. This session covers:
- Life’s problems: a taxonomy of drives, instincts and affects (implications for psychopathology)
Objective: Learn about modern neuroscientific conceptions of ‘drives’ and ‘instincts’ in the human mind.
Sunday: Clinical Lessons and Practical Examples
The fourth session (first session of the second day) draws together the implications that the three innovations introduced on the first day have for the clinical practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. The emphasis here falls on the implications of three important points: (1) the ‘talking cure’ cannot revolve around dragging the consciousness of words down into the unconscious id, thereby rendering it thinkable, since the id is in fact conscious from the outset; (2) the ‘talking cure’ also cannot revolve around the undoing of repressions for the reason that repressed unconscious memories cannot be recalled in the form of representational images; (3) the aims and mechanisms of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are reformulated in the light of modern drive and instinct theory. This session covers:
- Implications of the conscious id for the ‘talking cure’
- Why our patients suffer mainly from feelings
- The meaning of symptoms
- The actual task of psychoanalytic treatment
- Countertransference (affective and object-relational dimensions)
- Why transference interpretation is mutative
- Why psychoanalytic treatment takes time: ‘working through’
Objective: Learn in theoretical outline about the implications for clinical technique of changing conceptions of the id, the unconscious and repression.
Sessions 5 and 6
The fifth and sixth sessions illustrate all of these clinical implications, especially for technique, with reference to two case presentations by members of the audience, discussed ‘live’ by Mark Solms.
- First case presentation (by a workshop participant) and discussion
- Second case presentation (by a workshop participant) and discussion
Objective: Learn from practical examples about the implications for clinical technique of changing conceptions of the id, the unconscious and repression.
Conference Speaker: Mark Solms
Mark Solms is best known for his discovery of the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming, and his pioneering use of psychoanalytic methods and theories in contemporary neuroscience.
Born in Lüderitz in 1961, he was educated at Pretoria Boys' School and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He moved to London in 1988, where he worked at the Royal London Hospital (Honorary Lecturer in Neurosurgery) while he trained at the Institute of Psychoanalysis. He returned to South Africa in 2002, where he now holds a Professorship in Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town. He is a member of the South African Psychoanalytical Association and British Psychoanalytical Society, and Honorary Member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society.
Honors include the Sigourney Prize (2012), Honorary Fellowship of the American College of Psychiatrists (2016) and the IPA’s Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award (2017). He is Chair of the Research Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association and Director of the Science Department of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
He has published more than 300 papers in both neuroscientific and psychoanalytic journals, and eight books, including The The Brain and the Inner World (2002),The Feeling Brain (2015) and Beyond Evolutionary Psychology (2018), the first of which was translated into 12 languages. He is the editor of the Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 vols) and the forthcoming Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud (4 vols).
Co-sponsor & Logistics
Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.
The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 12.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Psychologists: The Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute is approved as a continuing education sponsor for Psychologists by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The Institute designates this continuing education activity as earning 12.0 hours of Continuing Education for Psychologists. CE Sponsor License #268.000091.
Social Workers: The Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute is approved as a continuing education sponsor for Social Workers by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The Institute designates this continuing education activity as earning 12.0 hours of Continuing Education for Social Workers. CE Sponsor License #159.000122.
Professional Counselors: The Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute is approved as a continuing education sponsor for Professional Counselors by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The Institute designates this continuing educational activity as earning 12.0 hours Continuing Education credit for Professional Counselors. CE Sponsor License #197.000202.
Marriage and Family Therapists: The Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute is approved as a continuing education sponsor for Marriage and Family Therapists by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The Institute designates this continuing educational activity as earning 12.0 hours Continuing Education credit for Marriage and Family Therapists. CE Sponsor License #168.000204.
Important Disclosure Information for All Learners: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Questions? Please contact Damita Wilson, continuing education coordinator, with requests, cancellations, or other questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-897-1411.