Title: “Perspectives on Unconscious Phantasy"
Presenter: Maxine Anderson, MD, FIPA
In the December scientific meeting, Jeff Eaton, who instigated this series on unconscious phantasy, reviewed understandings from works by David Bell and Heinz Weiss, and others as well as some of his own formulations. This presentation will consider contributions by Rachel Blass and Catalina Bronstein (see below) on unconscious phantasy. Maxine Anderson will offer what her clinical experience suggests as both agreement and disagreement with several of Blass and Bronstein's considerations. Mainly we will consider the perspective that unconscious phantasy gives shape, color, and continuity as background and foreground for all our experiences.
Both papers will be sent to participants who preregister for this meeting.
About the Presenter:
Maxine Anderson, MD, FIPA is a Founding Member of NPSI and a Training and Supervising Analyst at both NPSI and SPSI. She feels informed by contemporary Kleinian views and also by the work of Wilfred Bion. She has written several articles, and two books: The Wisdom of Lived Experience (2016) Karnac, and From Tribal Division to Welcoming Inclusion: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (at press) Routledge. Her current interests include the major themes of the second book, which involve clarifying for the general reader the role of the splitting processes in polarization and mental fragmentation and the importance of working toward mental integration for clarity of thought and purpose, so needed personally and nationally during these turbulent times.
1. By the end of the presentation, the participants will have deepened understanding of the concept that all of psychic life is underpinned by unconscious phantasy.
2. More specifically, the participant swill have a deepened appreciation that implicit experience, which cannot be recalled but must be lived, may usefully be considered as an expression of unconscious phantasy.
3. The participants will have a deepened appreciation that even our concrete experience of 'how it is' may usefully be thought of as a narrative stitched together by threads of unconscious phantasy.
1. Blass, Rachel, Reflections on Klein's radical notion of phantasy and its implications for analytic practice. International Journal of Psychoanalysis (2017), vol 98, # 3, pp. 841-859.
2. Bronstein, Catalina Finding unconscious phantasy in the session: Recognizing form. International Journal of Psychoanalysis (2015) vol 96, #4, pp. 925-944.