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series: connections and conversation

Connections and Conversation is a free monthly Zoom meeting, cultivating creativity and freedom of thought and feeling. We invite you to engage with our presenters and community as they share their interests and passions in conversation on current topics in psychoanalysis.

This free event that alternates times. The meeting begins with a 45 minute presentation followed by 45 minutes of conversation. This event is typically NOT recorded. If this changes, it will be announced at the meeting.

This series is open to all.

In case of questions please contact: [email protected]

Describing Psychoanalytic Process: How do we convey what we do?

Thursday, December 5th from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PT

Playfully adapting Oscar Wilde’s famous aphorism about foxhunting as “the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible,” Edgar Levenson once described psychoanalytic supervision as “a marvelous example of the infallible in pursuit of the ineffable.”* The same could be said of our description of psychoanalytic process. There is something almost infallibly clear in the ‘he said/she said/they said’ sequence of a session read aloud by almost every supervisee or presenter, while there is something ineffably complex and beyond words in the actual process of doing analysis. How do we capture the living moment of a session that takes us far beyond the words that are said?

In this talk and discussion, I will explore a set of themes with the hope of drawing us into an experience of the ineffable. Rather than closing in on the meaning or understanding of a session, how can we court the uncanny, tune into the open-ended polysemy of experience in description that opens to more than what is in our words, spoken or on a page? We will play with the depth of description, the way every moment comes in tones and moods; with the O(ntological) of the session, how being and becoming are the movement of an hour in space and time; and with the stadium and punctum of a captured moment (from Barthes, Camera Lucida), how experience emerges in a context with a detail that personally affects us in an emotional response. Such description captures both patient and analyst as parts of a whole that is never complete, never stable, opening to fragmentation, reorganization, and change.

*Foehl, J. C. (2008). Follow the fox: Edgar A. Levenson’s pursuit of psychoanalytic process. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 77(4), pp. 1231-1268.

Portrait of Jack Foehl, Ph.D.

Jack Foehl, Ph.D.

Jack Foehl is a psychoanalyst who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He is Past President and Supervising/Training Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, Associate Professor at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and Joint Editor in Chief of Psychoanalytic Dialogues. He teaches and writes about psychoanalytic technique and process, examining psychoanalytic experience, integrating existential and life-world themes to describe subjectivity, intersubjectivity, and depth in the analytic field.

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CE Credit

Connections and Conversation is not eligible for any CE Credits
No one in the planning or presentation of this activity has any relevant financial relationships with a commercial interest to disclose.

Special Accommodations

Please submit any requests for Special Accommodations to the ICP Office prior to registering or at your earliest convenience to ensure that we are able to assist.

presentation vault

Watch recordings and download papers and slides from past Connections and Conversations and Decentralized Learning Experiences.