The Perceptual Field in Psychoanalysis: Phenomenology in the Clinical Setting

Austen Riggs Center

25 Main St
StockbridgeMassachusetts 01262
December 13, 2019 at 6:30 PM

Lecture description: Contemporary approaches to clinical work in psychoanalysis address aspects of experience that do not find their way into thought and words, that are beyond representation. Reference to the protomental, beta, the actual, the primal, the unformulated, the unthought known, the irrepresentable all offer different framings of an unconscious grounded in an appreciation that unconsciousness is a verb, a process, a way of living and being that is not simply unknown, but unformed. But far from a process of conception, unconsciousness is a process of perception, an experience that might be described. In this presentation Dr. Foehl introduces the experience and concept of the perceptual field, drawn from descriptions in phenomenological philosophy. Using clinical examples, he will offer an approach to psychoanalytic work that remains grounded in the immediacy of a process that unfolds in the session.

Jack Foehl, PhD, is a training and supervising analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute where he is also president-elect. He is a supervisor and faculty member at Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and at Harvard Medical School, and is a clinical associate professor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. He is an editorial board member of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and American Imago, and is an associate editor for Psychoanalytic Dialogues. Foehl teaches and works in the intersection of psychoanalysis and phenomenology. He has written on the nature of clinical experience in psychoanalytic process, describing subjectivity and intersubjectivity, and has developed the concept of depth as applied to analytic process. He is completing a book titled: Psychoanalytic Process and the Perceptual Field: Merleau-Ponty and the Transformation of Experience.

This presentation is designed for mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, with no regular registration fee. View the entire schedule for the 2019-20 Friday Night Guest Lecture Series.


The Austen Riggs Center designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category1 Credit(s) ™

The Austen Riggs Center also designates this live activity for 1.00 continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology and social work.

The Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/02/2017-02/02/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 1.0 continuing education clock hours. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.

For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit www.aswb.org/ace/ace-jurisdiction-map/.

Complete Continuing Education Statement

No registration required. For more information contact Kathleen Young at 413.931.5230. 

In the event of a cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, a notice will be posted here no later than 3:00 p.m. on the day of the event. 

1.5 Hours