The 26th Nordic Psychoanalytic Congress | Den 26. Nordiska Psykoanalytiska Kongressen
PRESENCE AND ABSENCE
An infant cannot become a feeling and thinking human being without the presence of primary caregivers. Psychoanalysts are experts in close observation of the meanings of such presence, and psychoanalytic theories as well as clinical concepts contain a distinctive body of insight and knowledge regarding the importance of presence for the psychic life of a developing human being. Concepts like holding, containing and mentalizing all denote different kinds of significant presence, which are rooted in the early emotional life of an infant. Without a good enough interplay between presence and absence of caregiving adults a developing human being will encounter additional challenges in being present in her own mind, both for herself as well as for others.
But psychoanalysts know as well that a person is never completely present for herself – that there is an inevitable gap, an abyss, a rupture, which brings absence into the picture. The ego is not master in its own house, Freud formulated. The concept of unconscious enables one to think of the various kinds of absence, both for oneself as well as for others. What really matters in the psychoanalytic process is often precisely that which is significantly present through its absence, influencing a person’s way of being present but often escaping perception and understanding. This process takes place on the edge between presence and absence, aiming to facilitate the capacity to be mindfully present for oneself and for others. In current psychoanalysis, there are very different conceptions and models of how the unconscious is structured and how the unconscious affects the analytic encounter and life in general.
The conference invites all kinds of papers, both clinical and theoretical, addressing issues on presence and absence. We invite each society to choose a paper concerning the theme of the conference to be presented at the plenary sessions. Individual papers are to be sent to the scientific committee of the conference.
Title and abstract (100-200 words) are to be sent before December 15th 2017 to Jussi Kotkavirta, firstname.lastname@example.org, as an email attachment, as a Word file.
Questions concerning the scientific program can be sent to email@example.com.
There will also be a pre-congress on child and adolescent psychoanalysis, a pre-congress on teaching in psychoanalysis and a meeting for candidates. More information about these events will follow.
The scientific committee of the conference: