The Transition into Elderhood in the Psychotherapy Process
Saturday 25 September 2021
With Guillermo Julio Montero, Audrey Kavka, and Mi Yu
- This event will not be recorded
- Bookings close at 9:00am BST Wednesday 22 September
The need to come to terms with human physical vulnerabilities and impending mortality naturally intensifies as the margin between life and death narrows.READ MORE...
While each person’s journey into age is highly personal and subjectively challenging, ageing is also thought of as a developmental stage with the potential for privileged and deepened states of consciousness, not just a period of catastrophic loss.
The purpose of this conference is to examine some of the unconscious processes in this ageing journey: the extent to which ageing and ultimately dying can be embraced rather than denied and could be transformative rather than harrowing. Such potentialities will depend upon the client’s unconscious processes and attachments as well as spiritual outlook. Some may have deep relational and existential preparedness for the prospect of letting go of energy, health, and life. For others, the prospect may bring about despair, desolation, and depression – particularly for some in relation to the ageing body and desirability.
Our speakers will explore these dimensions, and ask how psychoanalysis can support the process of growing old in therapy and help to promote the renewing of psychic inner landscapes.
16.00 BST (12.00 ART; 10.00 CDT; 11.00 EDT)
Guillermo Julio Montero PhD
‘Maturescence’ as an Opportunity for Psychic Growth, Paradox, and Uncertainty
Guillermo defines ‘maturescence’ as the true beginning of ageing. Maturescence demands an active engagement with a complex and demanding process, defined by Freud as ‘drive increase’. Thus, maturescence opens up two possible pathways via which we experience ageing: the confrontation with reality or the avoidance of reality. A confrontation with reality must include uncertainty, paradox, and the mystery of death, and this can be defined as active ageing; whilst an avoidance of reality leads to dissociative or depressive phenomena, this is passive ageing: one’s inner psychic resources will select which path is chosen. This presentation does not try to demonstrate what age does to the individual, but what the individual does with ageing. The importance of subjective consideration enhances the potential for psychic growth and development.
Dr Audrey Kavka
Beyond Midlife: The Unconscious Lives On
In 1904, Freud famously turned psychoanalysis away from ageing patients. More than 100 years later, we now ask: “What do we learn from our psychoanalytic treatments with older patients?” We learn about how the psyche works with the tensions between certainties and uncertainties: the certainty of the progression and limits of time versus the uncertainty of how much time and the certainty of mortality and death versus how, and when will life end. Working with the unconscious processes of ageing patients leads to new proposals about the development of the mind, emotions, and self, from birth to death.
Mi Yu MD PhD
Yin-Yang and the Menopausal Barbie Doll: Cultural Impact on Ageing
Women of all cultures face the inevitable process of ageing. During this process, both their appearance and their social function necessarily change. The menopausal period, or the so-called women’s mid-life crisis, is a pivotal transitional point considering the aspects of ageing and femininity. During this distinct developmental phase, many new stage-specific events affect both identity and the emotional equilibrium. While the fear of loss of beauty and youth may evoke significant anxiety, cultural standards vary a great deal on what is considered feminine. In other words, what is considered as the ideal feminine is defined by each individual culture based on what that culture considers valuable and is often the subject of heated debate. But what happens if a woman, who is going through menopause, finds herself at the crossroad of cultures and is confronted with conflicting ideas and stereotypes?
Panel session with Q&A