Colloquium 15

"On The Attachment of Psychoanalysis to the Past"

Title/Paper: N/A
Author: N/A
Dates: Monday, November 30 - Sunday, December 13 , 2009

Katie Gentile and Eyal Rozmarin


Martin Altmeyer, Jody Davies, Martin Dornes, Adrienne Harris, Jean Knox, Bruce Reis, Phil Ringstrom, Stephen Seligman, Doris Silverman, Valerie Walkerdine

Developmental theory has always been an essential aspect of psychoanalytic discourse and practice. From Freud on, each psychoanalytic school has evolved a set of foundational assumptions about the chronological unfolding of individual development and its effect on adult subjectivity and experience. This arch-premise determined a conception of analytic practice as a process akin to archeological research, where adult experience and behavior are exposed in the analytic relationship as expressions of archaic, developmental vicissitudes. The analytic relationship has been conceived primarily as a laboratory for the examination of those aspects of individual psychology that are anchored in the past.

Relational psychoanalysis emerged in continuity with, but also as a departure from this tradition. In the relational perspective, the intersubjective is no longer secondary to the intra-subjective, and a view of the analytic relationship as a method aiming to uncover pre-determined, individual truths is challenged by the idea that each relationship creates its own co-constructed meanings. Between these two, opposing or complementary sensibilities, the place of developmental ideas or theory in relational psychoanalysis has not been fully articulated. Is there a relational developmental theory?

The upcoming IARPP online colloquium will attempt to further the discussion on this important question. Rather than focus on a specific text, the colloquium will be in the form of a roundtable discussion among the distinguished panelists.