Freudian psychoanalysis is so popular in Argentina, even prisoners go once a week

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Freudian psychoanalysis is all the rage in Argentina. This is the country with the highest number of psychologists per capita and where psychoanalysis is a standard treatment option for kids. So it makes sense that in prisons, too, the inmates get Freudian psychoanalysis once a week.

At least that’s the case in one Buenos Aires prison, where psychologist and researcher Alicia Iacuzzi has headed the program for 30 years. Other mental health services for prisoners have a more Lacanian approach, based on the work of French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan, but Iacuzzi believes that Freud provides the best guidelines for prison therapy.

Read more: http://qz.com/762734/freudian-psychoanalysis-is-so-popular-in-argentina-even-prisoners-go-once-a-week/

August 20, 2016

 

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Where the Wild Things Are

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This Friday, June 24, the Association for Psychoanalytic Thought presents Where the Wild Things Are, directed by Spike Jonze based on Maurice Sendak’s book. The screening will be followed by discussion about grief in a dramatic dreamscape by Rachel Zlatkin, Professor of English at NKU, and Alla Baskakova, psychiatrist at VA Medical Center.

Wine and cheese at 6:30. Program starts at 7pm.

Location: Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute, 3001 Highland Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45219

Please RSVP: Norman Hirsch, hirschnorman@gmail.com or 513-515-6836.

New publication in PsyArt Journal

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Sookie and Symptom, Vampire and Void: Irruption of the Real in True Blood

February 18, 2016 ·

Abstract

Sookie Stackhouse, the protagonist of HBO’s True Blood, is a telepath who has grown up knowing what people “really” think. From the first episode, however, moments suggest we view her character symptomatically—after all, she hears voices in her head. The series then becomes an illustration of Lacanian concepts of subjectivity and the Real. Sookie is a sexually-repressed 24-year-old virgin, molested by her great uncle and left in the care of her grandmother, with whom she still lives after losing both parents. The extimate sexualized voices in her head can be read as a mechanism constructed to cope with traumatic loss and abuse, and to justify her repression. The introduction of vampire Bill Compton signals the irruption of the Real in the Symbolic order. His unreadable mind presents a void upon which to project her fantasies, but their relationship, mirroring that of analyst and analysand, provides a way for Sookie to work through her symptoms.

View the full article here:

http://journal.psyart.org/article/sookie-and-symptom-vampire-and-void-irruption-of-the-real-in-true-blood/

Psychoanalysis as Core Training

active-18975_640Core training has become the gold standard for physical fitness. A strong core has many benefits, from improving balance, stabilizing the back, preventing injury, and even helping us breathe. Core training goes hand in hand with functional training. With a strong core, we can move more easily and capably in life.

Now, knowing that I am a psychoanalyst, maybe you can see where this is going! People often wonder about the aim of psychoanalysis. What is its purpose, what does it do for you, how does it help you in life? I think that psychoanalysis is akin to core training. The help offered is aimed at strengthening us at the core of our psyches. Once strengthened at the core, we become more capable in our psychological, emotional, and relational lives…

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/headshrinkers-guide-the-galaxy/201603/psychoanalysis-core-training

Jennifer Kunst – Psychology Today

Psi episode 4, “Believing in the Afterlife”

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On Friday, January 22nd, the Association for Psychoanalytic Thought screened an episode of the Brazilian television series, Psi, about a psychoanalyst, Carlo Antonini, his family, and his practice in São Paulo. The series is co-written by Contardo Calligaris, a well-known Italian psychoanalyst, novelist, and playwright who lives and works in Brazil. The episode screened involved a patient, Milton, who believes his dead wife is communicating with him from beyond the grave. Leading discussion of the episode were Dr. Natalia Jacovkis, Associate Professor of Spanish at Xavier University and specialist in film and media studies, and Dr. Karl Stuckenberg, Chair of Xavier’s School of Psychology.

Dr. Jacovkis introduced the screening by explaining the production environment for television in Brazil, where big-budgets and leading actors contribute to quality television programming, outshining even film production. This was well-evidenced with Psi, which is a finely-crafted, thought-provoking, and superbly-written piece of entertainment. Much of the narrative impact of the episode is created by several subplots that are tightly-integrated with the main storyline, one following Antonini’s sessions with another patient whose brother and nephew died in a car crash and a second focused on the death of his daughter’s dog. The multiple storylines involving death and mourning work together to create a thematic unity missing in much mainstream American television.

The loneliness and isolation characters experience in the metropolis of São Paulo is another striking aspect of the series, pointed out by Dr. Jacovkis. The severe, austerely-depicted city provides Dr. Antonini with a steady clientele of troubled psychoanalytic patients, but he, too, is troubled. He maintains a predominantly sterile and clinical demeanor in his interpersonal relationships, not only with clients, but also with his ex-wife and children. However, he is warm and genial with his colleagues, showing a likable side to the good doctor. In general, all the characters are complex and multidimensional, important to a series concerned with the human psyche.

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It is toward that human psyche that Dr. Stuckenberg steered the discussion after the screening, when he invoked Freud’s essay on “Mourning and Melancholia” as a lens through which to understand Milton’s delusions. Overwhelming guilt and anger are attendant with his grief, but when Milton confesses to having killed his wife’s dogs, Dr. Antonini identifies his confession as too detailed, too rehearsed. This causes Milton to erupt in an uncalculated tirade involving everything that he hated about his wife, from her telling pointless stories to smelling bad “down there.” By the end of the episode, the purgation of Milton’s feelings of anger and hatred toward his dead wife provides him with some relief, but there is still much work to be done. Ultimately, as noted by Dr. Stuckenberg in closing the discussion, it matters not whether the ghosts of our loved ones are real or imagined; we must still process our own conscious and repressed feelings toward those loved ones in order to exorcise their spirits.

The Psychoanalysis of Politicians Like Donald Trump

Could the success of politicians like Donald Trump be the result of psychology?

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Donald Trump’s extraordinary success represents a political paradox to many opponents who reject what they perceive as his extremist xenophobic, simplistic politics. Critics continue to be perplexed as to why the richest man to run for President, attracts such passionate support from the poorest white constituency.

Or are politicians like Donald Trump simply more astute psychologists than their rivals?

Jay Frankel, from the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, at New York University, and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, has recently published a paper entitled ‘The traumatic basis for the resurgence of right-wing politics among working Americans’….

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/slightly-blighty/201601/the-psychoanalysis-politicians-donald-trump

Raj Persaud, M.D. and Peter Bruggen, M.D. – Psychology Today

When Freud Meets fMRI

The emerging field of “neuropsychoanalysis” aims to combine two fundamentally different areas of study—psychoanalysis and neuroscience—for a whole new way of understanding how the mind works.

I am in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, surrounded by psychoanalysts. At moments, if I half close my eyes, I can imagine I’m in some European city, circa 1930: “The Kleinians have this very disturbing, I think, notion of countertransference as being something the patient does to you. They’re moving too far away from Freud’s understanding…” But in fact it’s 2010, and the conversation is new…

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/08/neuroscience-psychoanalysis-casey-schwartz-mind-fields/401999/

Casey Schwartz – The Atlantic

Therapy wars: the revenge of Freud

Cheap and effective, CBT became the dominant form of therapy, consigning Freud to psychology’s dingy basement. But new studies have cast doubt on its supremacy – and shown dramatic results for psychoanalysis. Is it time to get back on the couch?

Dr. David Pollens is a psychoanalyst who sees his patients in a modest ground-floor office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a neighbourhood probably only rivalled by the Upper West Side for the highest concentration of therapists anywhere on the planet. Pollens, who is in his early 60s, with thinning silver hair, sits in a wooden armchair at the head of a couch; his patients lie on the couch, facing away from him, the better to explore their most embarrassing fears or fantasies. Many of them come several times a week, sometimes for years, in keeping with analytic tradition. He has an impressive track record treating anxiety, depression and other disorders in adults and children, through the medium of uncensored and largely unstructured talk…

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/07/therapy-wars-revenge-of-freud-cognitive-behavioural-therapy

Oliver Burkeman – The Guardian

Are You a Good Candidate for Psychoanalytic Treatment?

As we enter into the new year and make our resolutions, I wanted to go back to the beginning and answer the question, “Are you a good candidate for psychoanalytic treatment?”

Whether you’ve never been in any form of psychotherapy before or you can call yourself a therapy veteran, by the end of this post I hope that you’ll be able to answer the question, “Is psychoanalysis right for me?”…

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/practical-psychoanalysis/2016/01/are-you-a-good-candidate-for-psychoanalytic-treatment/

Mihaela Bernard, MA, LCPC – PsychCentral