Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

May 6, 2016  

Oona Grimes, Rachel Goodyear, Carol Seigel, Dr Cleo Van Velsen, chaired by Jeremy Akerman

Join artists Oona Grimes and Rachel Goodyear, Freud Museum London Director, Carol Seigel and Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy Dr Cleo Van Velsen, as they explore the artists’ work in the context of both the Freud family home and the Tall Tales touring exhibition programme.

Oona Grimes is a London based compulsive scribbler, maker and storyteller. She is a visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London, and Ruskin School of Art : Oxford University & University of the Arts London, represented by Danielle Arnaud.

Rachel Goodyear’s practice has a primary focus on drawing. Often using familiar but incongruous images, Goodyear’s delicately rendered works reference human fears and desires and pre-sent a precarious balance between the playful and the macabre. Rachel lives and works in Manchester, is represented by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery and in 2015/2016 had a major solo exhibition Restless Guests, at The Drawing Centre, New York.

Carol Seigel has been Director of the Freud Museum London since 2009. Carol is a historian, and has worked at museums in London for over twenty years, including the Jewish Museum, the Museum of London, and Hampstead Museum.

Dr Cleo Van Velsen is currently the Responsible Clinician in the Personality Disorder Medium Secure Unit in East London. She has worked for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and has extensive experience in the assessment, management and treatment of those suffering with personality difficulties, violence and trauma. She is the coeditor of a textbook on Forensic Psychotherapy and section editor of the Edinburgh International Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis.

Jeremy Akerman is an artist and one half of Akerman Daly (Est. 2004), an organisation dedicated to publishing writing by artists. AD’s online presence makes the case for text as image. Akerman’s city and rural landscape paintings deploy a perspectival axis that directs a viewer’s eye through the picture. The viewer’s eye travels in, finding that the painting collapses and re-constitutes itself as they do so.

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Part 5: Joseph Calabrese - Therapeutic Emplotment in the Native American Church

In this talk, I will outline my analysis of the Native American peyote ritual, which involves a dialectic between therapeutic symbolism and the use of the psychedelic peyote cactus within an alternative semiotic-reflexive paradigm of psychopharmacology. I will discuss the design features of the ritual intervention as well as examples of healing experiences, which demonstrate the ways in which therapeutic efficacy is embedded in ritual symbols and cultural mythology, generating healing transformations and enduring insights. 

Joseph Calabrese is Reader of Medical Anthropology at University College London. He completed his PhD at the University of Chicago, training in anthropology and clinical psychology, with two postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School in Clinical Psychology and Medical Anthropology. He was also the Cannon Fellow in Patient Experience and Health Policy at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He is author of A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church (2013).


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 4: Darian Leader - Symbol and Symbolic Function

This talk will explore some common misconceptions about symbolism, and discuss aspects of the formation of symbols and the establishment of the symbolic function.

Darian Leader is a writer, psychoanalyst, trustee of the Freud Museum and founding member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. He has written numerous books, including Strictly Bipolar (2013), What is Madness? (2011), The New Black (2008) and Freud's Footnotes (2000)

Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 3: Boris Wiseman - Symbolic efficacy: From Ritual to Psychoanalysis and Back Again

In this paper I will address the question of the efficacy of symbols by exploring some echoes between ritual and psychoanalytic practices. I will start by examining Lévi-Strauss’s seductive theory of symbolic efficacy and will then turn to a contemporary anthropological revision of that theory by Carlo Severi (Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale) and its psychoanalytic resonances. I will conclude by turning the lens of anthropology onto psychoanalysis and by asking what Amerindian ritual practices may tell us about the talking cure.

Boris Wiseman is Associate Professor at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Copenhagen. He is the author of several books, including Lévi-Strauss, Anthropology and Aesthetics (2007), and edited The Cambridge Companion to Lévi-Strauss (2009).
Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?


This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 2: Henrietta Moore - Exclusion, Unsustainability and the Determinations of the Symbolic

This paper discusses the difficulties of adhering to Lévi-Strauss’s view of the symbolic and his account of the effectiveness of symbols. It uses material from Papua New Guinea and China to explore the relationship between desire and ethics as a means of exploring some contemporary problems in articulating the relationship between the psyche and the social.

Henrietta Moore is the founding Director of the new Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London where she also holds the Chair of Philosophy, Culture and Design. She is an internationally renowned social anthropologist who has written extensively on the interrelation between material and symbolic gender systems, embodiment and subjectivity. She is the author of several books, including The Subject of Anthropology (2007), a cutting-edge analysis of gendered subjectivity and a ground-breaking contribution to the debates between anthropology and psychoanalysis.


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

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Part 1: Stefan Marianski - Introduction

By means of introduction, Stefan will present a short synopsis of Levi-Strauss’ paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, discussing some of its key ideas, its psychoanalytic influences, and how Levi-Strauss’ thought was in turn taken up within psychoanalysis.


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

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Adam Phillips in conversation with Deborah Levy

     
Unforbidden Pleasures is the dazzling new book from Adam Phillips, author of Missing Out and Going Sane.

Adam Phillips takes Oscar Wilde as a springboard for a deep dive into the meanings and importance of the Unforbidden, from the fall of our 'first parents' Adam and Eve to the work of the great twentieth-century psychoanalytic thinkers.

Unforbidden pleasures, he argues, are always the ones we tend not to think about, yet when you look into it, it is probable that we get as much pleasure, if not more, from them. And we may have underestimated just how restricted our restrictiveness, in thrall to the forbidden and its rules, may make us.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent books are On Kindness, co-written with the historian Barbara Taylor, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life, On Balance and One Way and Another.

‘Every mind-blowing book from Adam Phillips suspends all the certainties we are most attached to and somehow makes this feel exhilarating’ - Deborah Levy

‘Phillips radiates infectious charm. The brew of gaiety, compassion, exuberance and idealism is heady and disarming’ - Sunday Times

‘Phillips is one of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson for our time’ - John Banville

Unforbidden Pleasures is published by Hamish Hamilton (5 November 2015)

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including The Unloved, Swallowing Geography, and Beautiful Mutants. Her novel Swimming Home was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2012 Levy adapted two of Freud's case histories, Dora and The Wolfman for BBC Radio 4. Things I Don’t Want to Know is the title of Levy’s sparkling response to George Orwell’s essay ‘Why I Write’, an autobiographical essay on writing, gender politics and philosophy. Her new novel, Hot Milk, will be published in 2016 by Hamish Hamilton.

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Session 4: The Unconscious and the Body

Katerina Fotopoulou - The Embodied Relational Unconscious
The Freudian Unconscious was closely related to the mental representation of the body, and particularly the satisfaction of its biological needs. Katerina Fotopoulou will talk about 'the embodied relational unconscious', discussing certain classical and contemporary psychoanalytic insights on the unconscious that shed light on contemporary clinical and neuro-scientific findings. Among other fascinating things, we will learn about the psychological mechanisms by which body feelings are influenced by internalised social expectations and interactions; how bodies are interpersonally mentalised and perceived to form the basis of ourselves.

Aikaterini (Katerina) Fotopoulou PhD is Senior Lecturer at the Psychoanalysis Unit, Psychology and Language Sciences Division, UCL and Research Affiliate at the UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Her current research projects focus on body feelings, sensorimotor signals and related body representations in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders of body awareness; she is interested in psychological and neural mechanisms by which our interoceptive body feelings, as well as multimodal representations of the body, are influenced by internalised social expectations, on-line interactions with other people and by neuropeptides known to enhance social feelings. These studies point to unique neural mechanisms by which our bodies are interpersonally ‘mentalised’ and perceived to form the basis of our selves. Katerina is the Director of the London Neuropsychoanalysis Centre and runs the London Neuropsychoanalysis Group on: ‘Psychodynamic Neuroscience and Neuropsychology’. With Conway and Pfaff, she is co-editor of the volume From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Psychodynamic Neuroscience (2012). In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious British Neuropsychological Society’s Early Career Award, The Elizabeth Warrington Prize, as well as the Clifford Yorke Prize (2006) by the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society, for Early Career Contributions to the field, and the Papanicolaou Prize in a joined meeting of the World Hellenic Biomedical Society and the Hellenic Medical Society of Britain. Katerina is also finishing her Clinical Doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Psychology, accredited by the British Psychological Society and the Health Professions Council and leading to eligibility for Professional Chartership.
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Session 3: The Freudian Unconscious Revisited


Salman Akhtar - 14 Proposals in Freud’s ‘The Unconscious'
Salman will revisit some of Freud’s most central claims regarding the nature of the unconscious and examine their current status within and beyond psychoanalysis.

Anouchka Grose - Language and the Unconscious
Anouchka will respond to Salman’s talk from a contemporary Lacanian perspective, with a particular emphasis on the role of the language.

Salman Akhtar MD, is a world-renowned psychoanalyst and psychiatrist and one of the most creative and prolific psychoanalytic writers. He was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Centre of Philadelphia. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He has delivered many prestigious addresses and lectures and is recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, which include the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Best Paper of the Year Award (1995), the Margaret Mahler Literature Prize (1996), the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians’ Sigmund Freud Award (2000), the American College of Psychoanalysts’ Laughlin Award (2003), the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Edith Sabshin Award (2000), Columbia University’s Robert Leibert Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychoanalysis (2004), the American Psychiatric Association’s Kun Po Soo Award (2004), Irma Bland Award for being the Outstanding Teacher of Psychiatric Residents in the US (2005), and the Sigourney Award (2012). Dr Akhtar is an internationally sought speaker and teacher, and his books have been translated into many languages. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.
Anouchka Grose is a Lacanian psychoanalyst and writer practising in London. She is a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, where she regularly lectures. She is the author of No More Silly Love Songs: a Realist’s Guide to Romance (Portobello, 2010) and Are you Considering Therapy? (Karnac, 2011), and is the editor of 'Hysteria Today', a collection of essays to be published by Karnac later this year. She also writes for The Guardian and teaches at Camberwell School of Art.
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Session 2: The Unconscious and the Psychopathology of Everyday Life

David TuckettConviction Narrative Theory: Bringing Modern Psychoanalysis into the Heart of Economics and Decision Science
David Tuckett will take us on a fascinating journey through modern psychopathology of everyday life, demonstrating the paramount importance of the unconscious processes in problem-solving and decision-making, with a particular emphasis on the psychology of financial behaviour. Arguing that the human mind was designed to make decisions under uncertainty, he will explore the compelling stories consumers and investors constantly make up, to contain a range of emotional experiences and he will explain how these narratives of 'conviction' affect the wider economy.

David Tuckett is a psychoanalyst, Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty at UCL in the Faculty of Brain Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He trained in Economics, Medical Sociology and Psychoanalysis and currently divides his time between clinical practice and research – since winning a 2006 Leverhulme Research fellowship for a "psychoanalytic study of investment markets" he has been collaborating with a range of colleagues in economics, finance, psychology, social anthropology, computer science and neuroscience to introduce psychoanalytical understanding to behaviour in the financial markets and the economy more generally. His book Minding the Markets: An Emotional Finance View of Financial Instability was published in New York and London by Palgrave Macmillan in June 2011 and a further monograph written with Professor Richard Taffler (University of Warwick School of Management) entitled “Fund Management: An Emotional Finance Perspective” was published by the Research Foundation of CFA Institute. Prior to this he received the 2007 Sigourney Award for distinguished contributions to the field of psychoanalysis. He has published books and articles in sociology, psychoanalysis, economics, and finance and is a former President of the European Psychoanalytic Federation, Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Principal of the Health Education Studies Unit at the University of Cambridge.
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Session 1: The Unconscious and the Brain

Mark Solms - The Id is Not Unconscious

Mark will present neuroscientific evidence to support his argument that the mental functions Freud called ‘id’ are not unconscious! He will discuss some implications of this argument for what psychoanalysts and psychotherapists do clinically.

Mark Solms is a psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, widely reported to have first coined the term Neuro-Psychoanalysis, a rapidly developing field of interdisciplinary scholarship and research aiming to provide bridges between the neurosciences and psychoanalytic theory. He is Professor in Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Honorary Lecturer in Neurosurgery at St Bartholomew’s and Royal London School of Medicine, Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and Chair of the Research Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association, Associate Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, Honorary Member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society, and Member of the South African Clinical Neuropsychology Association and of the British Neuropsychological Society. He is a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and Honorary Fellow of the American College of Psychoanalysts and of the American College of Psychiatrists. He has won many prestigious awards, including the Sigourney Award, and has authored a multitude of chapters, articles and books including A moment of Transition: Two Neuroscientific Articles by Sigmund Freud (1990), The Neuropsychology of Dreams: A Clinico-Anatomical Study (1997), Clinical Studies in Neuro-Psychoanalysis (with K Kaplan-Solms, 2000) and, with Oliver Turnball, The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience (2002). He was founding editor of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis.

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Lecture and performance: 

How do ideas pop into your head? You can think about the answer to this question at a lecture and performance about the art of Freestyle Rap by Hip-Hop artist and spoken word poet, Reveal. Using recent studies in neurology and psychology, theories of memory schemata and ideas about unconscious communication, Reveal will explore the basis of his craft within the resonant environment of the Freud Museum, and in a practical demonstration will improvise a rap to words and questions called out by members of the audience. 

Reveal is a London based Iranian Hip-Hop artist, ethnomusicologist and writer. He was born in Tehran, Iran in 1983 and moved to London aged 2 with his parents, mainly to escape the Iran-Iraq war. He was raised in inner city London but continued to travel back to Tehran regularly. Having links to such contrasting urban environments has provided him with a sense of dual identity for most of his life. At a young age Reveal began performing Hip-Hop music and releasing songs under the Artist name "Reveal Poison", and at aged 16 he won the 2000 UK Freestyle Knock-out Battle Rap Championships. He went on to form the group “Poisonous Poets” who were one of the first ever UK Hip-Hop acts to be signed to a major record label, penning a deal with BMG/Arista in 2001. It was around this period that he first became aware of the emerging Persian Hip-Hop scene in Iran and he travelled back to Tehran to begin a series of collaborations with the city's artists. Reveal is currently enrolled on a Mmus Ethnomusicology programme at SOAS where he is studying part-time alongside doing youth work, touring and releasing music.

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An Evening of Psychoacoustic and Optical Illusions

The book Rorschach Audio: Art & Illusion for Sound, by author and installation artist Joe Banks, takes as its central metaphor the comparison between the perception of ambiguous speech-sounds, and the “projective” interpretation of the famous ink-blot tests devised by the Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach in 1921.

With a nod to the model of perception proposed by Freud, Banks explores relationships between mechanisms of aural and visual perception, demonstrating a series of highly entertaining and sometimes bizarre psychoacoustic and optical illusions.

With a further nod to ideas proposed in Freud’s The Future of An Illusion, the lecture focusses on a critique of Spiritualistic and allegedly supernatural Electronic Voice Phenomena (ghost-voice) recordings, a theme wildly popular in contemporary sound installation art. Banks traces the illusions involved as far back as the artist generally recognised as the most important figure in the history of Western art, and reveals the role that relatively little-known wartime intelligence work with sound had on what is arguably the most important work of visual arts theory ever published.

Joe Banks produces the installation art and electronic music project Disinformation. Disinformation exhibits and performs internationally, has been the subject of over a dozen UK solo exhibitions - including a recent solo installation at Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, and has exhibited in group shows at Kiasma (Helsinki), CCCB (Barcelona), Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge) and The Hayward Gallery (London).

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July 21, 2015  

While the contents of the unconscious might be obscure and perplexing, when Freud spoke about 'the unconscious' he meant something very precise. This talk will look at Freud's 'discovery' of the unconscious, and at his conceptualisation of it. It will also deal with the peculiar logic of symptom formation. From there, it will go on to look at Lacan's notion of the language-like unconscious, showing how this was developed in accordance with Freud's ideas.

Anouchka Grose is a psychoanalyst and writer practising in London. She is a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, where she regularly lectures. She is the author of No More Silly Love Songs: a realist’s guide to romance (Portobello, 2010) and Are you Considering Therapy (Karnac, 2011), and is the editor of 'Hysteria Today', a collection of essays to be published by Karnac later this year. She also writes for The Guardian and teaches at Camberwell School of Art.

Part of an exciting season of talks, events and conferences accompanying the exhibition ‘Festival of the Unconscious’24 June- 4 October 2015.

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