This day is dedicated to Jacques Lacan. As our guides we have Dany Nobus and Donald Almén.
Dany Nobus is one of the worlds leading experts on lacanian psychoanalysis. He is prof. of psychology at Brunel University London, former chair and fellow of the Freud Museum London and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.
Donald Almén is a lacanian psychotherapist and supervisor based in Gothenburg. He is a founding member of PSAK (Psykoanalysens sak i klinik och kultur).
The day will consist in three lectures mixed with time for questions and discussions.
Tickets can be purchased either for the full day (12.30-21.00) or only for the evening lecture 19.00-21.00>>
- On Wanting To Get Better –
Irrespective as to whether they verbalise it, all patients who voluntarily come to see a ‘mental health care professional’ in some way want to improve their quality of life. Regardless as to whether they explicitly say it, they all somehow want to ‘get better’ and they expect the ‘service provider’ to facilitate and deliver this ‘good’. What ‘getting better’ means, tends to differ from one patient to the next, yet it does not necessarily imply that patients themselves want to change. Sometimes, patients want to get better by finding a way to change someone else; sometimes patients want to get better by alleviating the impact of a change that has already occurred. In this seminar, I shall unravel the complexity of patients’ expectations to see their quality of life being improved as a result of the treatment process on the basis of various clinical examples and I shall employ the aspiration of ‘wanting to get better’ as a springboard for a re-examination of the place and function of desire in the ethics of psychoanalysis. If ‘wanting to get better’ represents a desire on the side of the patient for a certain (positive) goal to be accomplished, how does this goal fit with the aim of the treatment process as it is conceived by the psychoanalytic practitioner?
- Change completes Nothing –
The persistence of the original trauma, the original lack of existence, is what in a psychoanalytic context determines our humanity. With that as a starting point; how can we approach the phenomenon of change in general and its place in the psychotherapeutic clinic in particular? In short: What do we need to know about the conditions and opportunities of change to be able to listen and speak to a suffering person. Is it possible that something new may arise, something that has never existed before and that leads to a changed in everyday life for those seeking psychotherapy? Many stand handcuffed to their suffering and say: "I do not understand or can even imagine how it can be in another way, I have had it like this for almost my whole life" Are we approaching the suffering person as a problem to be solved or a subject to be found? The choice determines how we can listen and speak. This is where the lecture will place Lacan;s contribution to psychoanalytic theories and with the help of clinical examine the suffering person;s conditions and opportunitiesfor change. We do so with the support of the medieval definition of change: Motus est actus entis in pontentia, or: Change is the realization of a possibility. A change does not take place other than when something possible becomes real. The question is not new, but the psychoanalytic theory has sharpened and clarified its conditions.
- Knowledge as the Symptom of Ignorance: On Psychoanalysis as Morosophy –
In this lecture, I will argue that the theory and practice of psychoanalysis would not have come into being had it not been for someone called Sigmund Freud refusing to dismiss neurotic symptoms as intrinsically meaningless imperfections of the human brain, or as insignificant corollaries of the human mind playing tricks on itself. In addition, I shall demonstrate how Freud gradually came to realise that relieving the human condition of the most disruptive and painful of these symptoms requires something else than the profession and acquisition of knowledge. Finally, with a little help from Jacques Lacan, I shall argue that the overall purpose of treating symptoms psychoanalytically with knowledge qua ignorance is not to replace them with better, more rational or more realistic knowledge, but to render the epistemic background against which these symptoms appear meaningless, nonsensical, or indeed stupid. The conclusion is that psychoanalysis is essentially a clinical morosophy, i.e. a treatment paradigm which relies on the wisdom of stupidity.
Schedule for the day:
13.00-14.30 On wanting to get better - Nobus
14.45-16.00 Change completes Nothing - Almén
19.00-21.00 Knowledge as the symptom of ignorance - Nobus