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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Where are the Boundaries of Self and Other?
Pathologies on the frontiers of identity

With Dr Anita Avramides, Dr Richard Gipps, Professor Jeremy Holmes, Dr Matthew Parrott, Dr Johannes Roessler, Laurie Slade and Professor Mary Target

Chairperson: Dr Edward Harcourt

Saturday 14 May 2016

08.30   Social Dreaming Matrix, led by Laurie Slade
09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Professor Jeremy Holmes

Attachment perspectives on self-other disturbance - conceptualisation and therapeutic strategies
Intimate relationships are, by definition, those in which the self-other boundary is breached. The bio-behavioural synchrony of mother and infant, and adult sexuality/physical companionship are prototypical examples. But most human interactions entail a built-in opacity; learning to live with – and overcome – plays a significant part in both the phenomenology of and recovery from neurosis. In my talk I argue that psychotherapeutic conversations represent a specialised attempt to address and overcome the self-other boundary, and show how a) non-verbal, physical and subliminal aspects of the therapeutic relationship, and b) explicit mutual mentalising help bring this about. Clinical illustrations will be included.
10.45   Dr Anita Avramides

The self and the (abnormal) other
What is the boundary between self and other? Is it a fixed or Permeable? Traditional ways of conceiving the mind centre on the individual. Contrary to this, I shall argue for the importance of the second person. I will develop a position whereby our expression of inner life is to be conceptualised as allowing for responses from others. Given this position, it is interesting to ask, “What happens when either the expression or the response is (in a sense to be outlined) abnormal?”
11.30   Coffee
12.00   Professor Mary Target

Getting to know and represent the self through the other
This presentation describes the theory of self-development rooted in attachment and the development of mentalization, which involves getting to know and represent the self through a particular type of mirroring by the other. Consideration is given to how this and other developmental theories focused on early mother-infant relating fit in with classical ideas of psychoanalysis, where self-knowledge is shaped more through conflict and defence.
12.45   Lunch
14.00   Discussion
14:15   Dr Johannes Roessler

Self-knowledge in communication
In this talk we will consider some questions regarding the relationship between the ability to express one's attitudes in communication with others and the ability to be reflectively aware of one's attitudes. I will also consider ways in which reflection on that relationship may shed light on impairments and pathologies of self-knowledge.
15:00   Dr Matthew Parrott

Self-Alienation and self-coherence
The notion of a coherent unified self is prominent throughout the history of Western Philosophy. However, in both therapeutic settings and everyday life, a person experiences themselves as more or less unified. One natural thought is that, when one is alienated from certain aspects of one's own history, or body, or mind, those aspects are not fully a part of one's identity. But what exactly does it mean to be alienated from oneself? Can features that a person feels alienated from nevertheless constitute a part of her identity? This presentation will explore these questions primarily from a philosophical perspective.
15.45   Tea
16:00   Dr Richard Gipps

Understanding Ego Boundary Disturbance in Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is intuitively understood as involving a 'disturbance of ego boundaries'. Without some such concept the diagnosis degenerates into a mere construct of disparate symptoms. But the concept of disturbed 'ego boundaries' - where You end and I begin - is often presented in ways that render it scientifically irrelevant (an obscure metaphysical entity or damaged psychic membrane) or scientifically impotent (merely a failure in judgement, or a confusing metaphor). In this talk I suggest that an enactivist perspective helps us: recover a valuable sense of 'ego boundary', unify the concept of 'schizophrenia', and guide the therapeutic differentiation of I and You.
16.45   Discussion
17.00   End

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Early bird: £110 (Sold out)
Self-funded: £130 (Available)
Organisationally-funded: £220 (Available)
As part of Season Ticket: £42

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL

08.30 Social Dreaming Matrix
09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:30 Coffee
12:45 Lunch
15:45 Tea
17:00 End