WMIP Late Summer Conference 2017

Saturday 16 September 2017

Freud, Jung and the Modern World

Venue: the studio, 7 Cannon Street, Birmingham B2 5EP

Speakers: Ken Robinson, Marcus West and Ray Brown

Chair: Dr Tom Camps

At the beginning of the last century Freud and Jung each created a vast corpus of work, the legacy of which is the basis of modern psychotherapies. The two men were the great cartographers of human emotion and experience working at the height of the age of mechanism. They mapped the mechanism of human experience and what they discovered in the analysts consulting room proved to be anything but mechanical, which is part of the reason why psychotherapy has a long experiential training for its practitioners and has never been successfully manualised.

Now one hundred years later as we traverse the first quarter of the 21st century the continued application of mechanism to all aspects of our scientific life has followed psychoanalysis and discovered a physical and biological universe of ever unfolding complexity, and ever more dynamic than we first thought.

Today, matter itself, is emerging not as a 'thing' to be understood, but like the mind, as relational at its most fundamental level. In biology, which includes our understanding of the human organism, we are discovering an emergent world with properties that exist only at a certain macro level.

The two talks in the morning by eminent Jungian speaker Marcus West and Freudian speaker Ken Robinson will leave us with an image of human existential experience as mapped by the two great cartographers of the mind. In the afternoon our third speaker Ray Brown will introduce the dynamic mapping of dreaming perceived using modern technology as was not possible one hundred years ago.

The aim of the conference is not to persuade, least of all that one man's view is superior to the other or even that both are somehow superior to anything we may learn by way of direct observation, but to leave us with a sense of awe and wonder at what it is to be human. For all the vast richness of both men's work, and its development with their successors, we are but at the beginning of a journey of understanding. The playwright Shakespeare's famous line of 400 years ago:
'We are such stuff as dreams are made on' (Tempest Act 4 sc1) may prove not to be poetic metaphor but correct.

Dr Tom Camps, Chair

Jung - Personal, Transpersonal, Clinical, and Theoretical Perspectives"
Speaker: Marcus West

This talk will draw upon Jung's early personal experience and the intellectual milieu of the times to throw light on his theoretical and clinical contributions. Starting from his earliest dream, it will trace the way his thought developed from his experience, leading to his views on the narrowness of the ego, his understanding of the inclusive and prospective nature of the unconscious, the transpersonal nature of the self, and the role of spiritual experience.

Jung offers practitioners a broad landscape within which to work clinically, and his views, for example, on the analytic relationship, have presaged many of the insights of the relational and inter-subjective schools. Jung has much to offer, and the talk will explore how he is vitally relevant both clinically and to the way we live our lives today.

Marcus WestMarcus West is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. His latest book, Into the Darkest Places - Early Relational Trauma and Borderline States of Mind, was published by Karnac in 2016. He has written two previous books: Feeling, Being and the Sense of Self: A new perspective on identity, affect and narcissistic disorders (2007), and Understanding Dreams in Clinical Practice (2011). He has also contributed to a forthcoming book on Jung and Freud, Re-Encountering Jung: Analytical Psychology and Contemporary Psychoanalysis, to be published by Routledge in October 2017. He was joint winner of the Michael Fordham Prize in 2004, has written a number of papers, contributed chapters to books, and taught and lectured widely in this country and abroad. He is also a trained EMDR practitioner. He works in private practice in Sussex.

"Freud in Toto"
Speaker: Ken Robinson

Psychoanalysts after Freud have often operated on the principle of pars pro toto, building their theory and practice on one aspect of his work at the expense of the whole. Freud's theory was always in movement, right up to his death, as he responded to fresh clinical challenges and revisited old; but new developments never totally superseded his earlier thinking. What's more, in his Project (1895) there are important perceptions and ideas that he did not take further, at least explicitly. This paper will explore his work as a whole and raise some caveats about reading it. Although the paper will not look at how later psychoanalysts have built on Freud's oeuvre it will indicate the parts that they have chosen to build on. Finally it will show the inter-relationship of Freud?s theory and practice.

Ken RobinsonKen Robinson is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Newcastle upon Tyne, a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis at the University of Northumbria. He is a training analyst for those training in both adult and child and adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and lectures and teaches within the UK and Europe. He has published widely, on the history of psychoanalysis and the nature of therapeutic action. Most recently he has contributed to the newly published edition of the collected works of Donald Winnicott and his paper on creativity will appear soon. He is currently completing a book on key psychoanalytic clinical concepts in practice, bringing together concepts derived especially from Freud, Ferenczi and Winnicott.

"Theories Change and Evolution"
Speaker: Ray Brown

This presentation will provide an introduction to the findings of neuro-science in relation to dreaming, feeling and relating, and a discussion on the ways in which these new findings may influence psychoanalytic theory.

  • Theories now in the post-modern world proliferate.
  • Adam Curtis' film on Hyper-reality explores the problems of the world's complexity.
  • Currently, there are social and political fractures and disruption in the social unconscious in Britain. Prolonged wars in the Middle East.

As Henri Ellenberger makes very clear - Freud was the product of his time. Today, we are children of a time of momentous developments in science and neuro-science. We are at the birth of a whole new scientific paradigm. The modern developments of neuroscience are not too far from Freud?s desire for a scientific project. For Freud, science represented truth.

I will discuss the nature of theories.

I will focus on recent findings in the neuro-science of dreams and explore the fraught question of "Is the manifest dream the Dream?" I will also discuss the affect relational model, currently being developed, and the theories on object relations explored from the perspective of non-linear dynamics and emergent theory.

The question I will explore is: "How permeable are the theories of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy to current scientific developments, remembering Fairburn and Bion?".

Ray BrownRay Brown is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, and a member of the Severnside Institute of Psychotherapy in Bristol. He is a member of the Group Analytic Society and is a Balint Group Leader. Dr Brown worked full time as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the NHS for over 30 years. He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Bristol University and holds honorary contracts as a consultant psychotherapist in the Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust and 2Gether Trust in Cheltenham and Gloucester. He now works full-time in private practice including medico-legal work in which he has specialised in the assessment of parents who have lost children. He has written papers on systems of mutual projective identification for couples using research methodology to elucidate these systems. He has also written on the education of medical students in learning about emotional attitude to and emotions in illness.

The West Midlands’ leading professional and training organisation for psychoanalytical and Jungian analytical psychotherapies.