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Freud Memorial Lecture 2017: Catastrophic Change and the Shape of what we K...

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University of Essex Colchester Campus

Colchester

CO4 3SQ

United Kingdom

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Psychoanalysis has offered different explanatory understandings of unconscious processes linking current problems with earlier sources of conflict, trauma, deprivation and loss. Shifts occur in knowledge both internally and externally as painful emotions are faced, worked through and altered, in dimensions of time, present and past and in relation to what evolves in the future. In this lecture Denis Flynn will look at changes in what we know as the uncertainty of evolving experience is tolerated and how thinking may be transformed in this process. The model of catastrophic change (W.R. Bion) is a configuration and observable pattern that keeps turning up, which may lead through transformations of experience (T (O)) to new knowledge (T (K)). There are resonances in this to shifts in other areas of knowledge, and we witness the impact of catastrophic change in institutions and in politics. He will illustrate catastrophic change in clinical examples - from the psychoanalysis of adults and a child analysis case study - and conclude, following Bion, that significant change is produced in an alteration of container/contained - ♀♂, in the development of meaning, and centrally in how the mind is receptive to the new unknown or unconscious idea.

Denis Flynn is a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst and Fellow from The Institute of Psychoanalysis, London, working full-time clinically as an Adult Psychoanalyst and Child Analyst, and in Psychoanalytic Education at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London. Previously he was Head of Adult and Child Psychotherapy and then Consultant Head of the Inpatient Adolescent Unit at The Cassel Hospital in London. He has co-authored (with L Day) The Internal and External Worlds of Children and Adolescence: Collaborative Therapeutic Care (Karnac: 2003), and written Severe Emotional Disturbance in Children and Adolescence: Psychotherapy in Applied Contexts (Routledge: 2004), plus other recent psychoanalytic papers or chapters on areas such as narcissism, exile and migration, adoption, identity, and containment in institutional care. He is currently working on transformational processes in thinking in relation to the work of W. R. Bion.

Image: Flammarion engraving (1888) - a traveller puts his head under the edge of the firmament.

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University of Essex Colchester Campus

Colchester

CO4 3SQ

United Kingdom

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