The Future in the Consulting Room: Thinking and Working Prospectively in an Uncertain World
Saturday 27 July 2019 - London
With speakers Dr Galit Atlas, Dr Susie Orbach and Professor Andrew Samuels
In this conference, our speakers will explore the challenging proposition that holding our future selves in mind needs to be considered a central aspect of the psychotherapeutic dialogue – one in which patient and therapist experiment with, dramatise and dream-up the patient’s future, visualising possible new and adaptive self-states.READ MORE...
Fresh nuances in the therapeutic relationship may be needed, ones in which greater attention is paid to imagining the full range of our potential multiple selves and their equally multiple social contexts.
In our era of exceptional social fluidity, when we cannot grasp the ways in which our selves are externally moulded, such an approach seems especially important. But it also raises some theoretical questions: is the future an emerging and uncharted space that belongs to the client to discover or one that is co-imagined by the therapy couple?
Registration and coffee
Dr Galit Atlas
Dramatic dialogue: Generative enactment and the prospective function
This presentation, based on Galit Atlas and Lewis Aron’s latest book (2018), will focus on how our mind exercises or rehearses for future possibilities. Introducing ideas on “Generative Enactment” and adding the concept of psychic futures to the discussion, we suggest that contemporary clinical practice with its hermeneutic, constructivist and relational leanings is now in a position to think beyond psychological causation driven by our past and present wishes. We re-evaluate the use of what Jung (1916) called the prospective function, and Bion’s theory of the mind as it evolved in his autobiography titled, A Memoir of the Future (1975, 1977, 1979). Through clinical material we will examine how the mind unconsciously “looks forward” to future possibilities.
Discussion with Q&A
Professor Andrew Samuels
“The fault is not in our stars, But in ourselves” (Julius Caesar): therapy, work, love, planet and politics with the future in mind
When Andrew was training as a Jungian analyst in the early 1970s, he was aware of the clinical need to ask where things are going in the future as well as where they come from. He also learned that this can lead to elated escapism. Nowadays, when the diverse social and cultural contexts in which individuals live are regarded as crucial concerns for therapists, supervisors and mentors, isn’t it useful also to think about the future of the collective/society/polis/planet in which people are embedded? But futures will vary according to which individual or group we are thinking about. To develop these points, Andrew will turn to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, and Zombie fiction.
Discussion with Q&A
Dr Susie Orbach
When AI comes – will we still have bodies?
The terrain of the body is changing. New developments, #MeToo, Artificial Intelligence, genetics, trans, egg freezing, cosmetic surgery apps, selfies, Snapchat dysmorphia, the Kardashians, the mirror neurone system, Black Lives Matter, rape as a weapon of war, gut politics, implants, sex dolls, require new thinking. Two trends are bucking up against each other: the difficulty of living in the bodies we currently inhabit with their many predicaments and the promise of trouble free almost body-free existence as we move toward futures constituted by algorithms, AI chemistry and Synthetic Biology.
Panel Discussion with Q&A