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CORNERSTONES OF CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOANALYSIS

New Visions of Psychoanalysis for the XXI Century

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In clinical work we often begin to sense something we cannot put into words. Though this does not necessarily appear verbally, it is nevertheless communicated in a way that makes the analyst feel stirred to the depths by something which, at the same time, may be barely perceptible.

Bion's writings reflect his desperate struggle to approach and communicate that which is unrepresentable and beyond words. Getting in touch with emotional truth, and the constant search for a way to communicate that truth, constitute a strong driving force in his work.

Through closely reading together some of Bion's texts, this seminar will attempt to follow Bion's journey in thinking about an unmentalized, and perhaps even 'unmentalizable' psychic reality, beginning with his depiction of a so-called psychotic part of the personality up until his conceptualization of an ultimate reality which he denotes as O. It is a path leading from the notion of psychic functioning that lacks a capacity to be in contact with emotional reality and truth, up to the conception of an unthinkable psychic reality, beyond the reach of the human mind.

Avner Bergstein

Avner Bergstein is a training and supervising psychoanalyst and faculty member of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society. He works in private practice with adults, adolescents and children and has worked for several years at a kindergarten for children with autism. He has authored numerous papers and book chapters elaborating on the clinical implications of the writings of Bion and Meltzer and his papers are translated into many languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. He is author of the book Bion and Meltzer's Expeditions into Unmapped Mental Life: Beyond the Spectrum in Psychoanalysis. He conducts reading seminars internationally focusing on the writings of these two authors.

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