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Future Perfect: Some Reflections on the Sense of Anticipation in Ordinary Infants and in Psychoanalytic Work

March 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Friday Night Guest Lecture

Anne Alvarez, Ph.D., M.A.C.P. is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (and retired Co-Convener of the Autism Service, Child and Family Department Tavistock Clinic, London). She is author of Live Company: Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived and Abused Children and has edited with Susan Reid, Autism and Personality: Findings from the Tavistock Autism Workshop. A book in her honor, edited by Judith Edwards, entitled Being Alive: Building on the Work of Anne Alvarez was published in 2002. She was Visiting Professor at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Society in November 2005 and her latest book, The Thinking Heart: Three Levels of Psychoanalytic Therapy with Disturbed Children was published in April 2012 by Routledge.

Some ideas will be extended on the importance of other people being able to dream of a child’s future, by examining additional features in the role of internal figures in the growing child’s or developing adult’s sense of the future.  How does the future seem to beckon for some people and not for others? Clinical material from despairing and apathetic patients, together with observations of babies’ crawling and walking will be used to relate Bion’s theory of knowledge to Panksepp’s neuroscientific work on the Seeking System.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES - At the conclusion of the event the participants will be able to:
1. Differentiate genuinely hopeful expectations, however faint, from the more defensive and hollow denials of current and past despair when patients express hopeful fantasies about the future; also learn to distinguish, and to help patients to distinguish, between rightful needs for better experiences, and defensive denials of anxiety and depression.
2. Discuss the technical questions of how to help the future to beckon and how to help very despairing patients to develop curiosity and interest, without being intrusive and encouraging manic denial.
3. Discuss how to help the patient to regulate excitement without killing it and how to help the patient use one thought to talk to another thought; to tell it, for example, to wait its place in the queue in his mind.

This presentation is designed for mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, with no regular registration fee.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS AUTHORIZED:  2.0  (M.D., Ph.D., Social Work)

No registration required. For more information contact Alicia Zaludova at 413-931-5230. 

Duration: 
2 hours
Intended Audience: 
Clinician

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