Conference: Ronald Fairbairn and the Object Relations Tradition

International Conference at the Freud Museum Organised by The IPI, Essex University and The Freud Museum

International Conference at the Freud Museum

Organised by The IPI, Essex University and The Freud Museum

Ronald Fairbairn was the father of object relations theory, which now permeates modern psychoanalytic thought. He developed a distinctive psychology of dynamic structure that began with the infant’s need for relationships, and in which mental structure is based upon the internal objects that result from introjection and psychic modification of these early relationships.

This conference will outline the basics of Fairbairn’s contribution, and then explore the ramification and development of these ideas to clinical work, and broadly to applications in modern psychoanalytic thinking.

Opening Panel
Internalization and the Status of Internal Objects

Chair: Aleksandar Dimitrijevic

Norka Malberg: On Being Recognized

Norka T. Malberg, DPsych: Associate Clinical Professor, Yale Child Study Center; Private Practice , New Haven Ct. ; Senior Clinical Advisor and Trainer, Child FIRST. Member of Contemporary Freudian Society and Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute and Societies. President, Section II (Child and Adolescent) of Division 39 (Psychoanalytic Psychoanalysis) /American Psychological Association. Clinical Faculty, The Anna Freud Center.

Viviane Green: Internal objects: Fantasy, Experience and History Intersecting?

Viviane Green: Adult, child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist working in English and French. Part time lecturer in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College.

David Scharff: Internal Objects and External Experience

David Scharff, MD: Chair and Former Director, The International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC; Chair, Work Group on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis, International Psychoanalytic Association; 30 books and many articles, including (with Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles) From Instinct to Self: Selected Writings of W.R.D Fairbairn, and (with Graham Clarke) Fairbairn and the Object Relations Tradition. Editor, the journal Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in China.


Chair: Lea Setton

Lea Setton, PhD: Training and Supervising Analyst, IPA in Panama; Faculty, IPI. Contributor, Fairbairn and the Object Relations Tradition. Co-Editor, The Contributions of Enrique Pichon-Riviere (Forthcoming, Jason Aronson Books.)

Marie Hoffman: Fairbairn and Religion

Marie T. Hoffman, Ph.D.: Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; Co-Director, Society for Exploration of Psychoanalytic Therapies and Theology; Director, Brookhaven Institute for Psychoanalysis and Christian Theology; Co-Director, psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist, Brookhaven Center, Allentown, PA.

James Poulton: Philosophical Foundations of Fairbairn

James L Poulton, Ph.D: psychologist in private practice, Salt Lake City; Adjunct Professor in Psychology, University of Utah; Faculty International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC. Author, Object Relations and Relationality in Couple Therapy.

Gal Gerson: Hegelian Themes in Fairbairn’s Work

Gal Gerson, D.Phil.: Senior Lecturer, University of Haifa’s School of Political Sciences. Publications on the history of liberalism, gender in political theory, and the interface between political thought and psychoanalytic theory.

Presentations- Chair: David Scharff

Steven Levine: Fairbairn’s Theory of the Visual Arts and its Influence

Steven Z. Levine, PhD: Leslie Clark Professor in Humanities and Chair, Department of History of Art, Bryn Mawr College; Author of Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: The Modernist Myth of the Self and Lacan Reframed: A Guide for the Arts Student.

Jonathan Sklar: Discussion of Steven Levine’s Presentation

Jonathan Sklar, M.D. Training analyst and fellow, British Psychoanalytic Society. Full-time private practice, London. Former consultant psychotherapist, Addenbrookes and Fulbourn hospitals, Cambridge. Teaches ‘Ferenczi and Contemporary Psychoanalysis’ at University College London, and regularly in Chicago and South Africa. Former Vice President, European Psychoanalytic Federation (2007-2011.) Author, Landscapes of the Dark: Psychoanalysis, Trauma, History (Karnac, 2011).

Chair: Carlos Rodriguez-Sutil

Carlos Rodríguez-Sutil, Ph.D.: President of the IPR (Relational Psychotherapy Institute) and member of the Board of IARPP-Spain. He has published more than 80 articles and books. Private practice.

Joseph Schwartz: Fairbairn and the Good Object: A bone of contention

Joseph Schwartz,Ph.D., is a training therapist and supervisor at the Bowlby Centre, London. His books include Cassandra’s Daughter: A History of Psychoanalysis in Europe and America, and Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs.

Molly Ludlam: Fairbairn and the Couple: – Still a Creative Threesome?

Molly Ludlam: Psychoanalytic psychotherapist with couples, individuals, and parents at The Scottish Institute of Human Relations. Member, British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors. Editor, the journal Couple and Family Psychoanalysis. Co-edited, with V. Nyberg, Couple Attachments: Theoretical and Clinical Studies .

Jill Scharff: Fairbairn’s Clinical Theory

Jill Savege Scharff, M.D.: Co-founder, International Psychotherapy Institute (IPI); Founding chair and supervising analyst, International Institute for Psychoanalytic Training at IPI; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University; psychoanalyst, couple and family therapist, Chevy Chase, Maryland; author and editor of 25 books, including The Psychodynamic Image: The Work of John D. Sutherland on Self and Society, and The Legacy of Fairbairn and Sutherland.

Presentations-Psychic Growth- Chair: Jill Scharff

Lesley Caldwell Being at Home with One’s Self: the Condition of Psychic Aliveness?

Lesley Caldwell, Psychoanalyst, British Psychoanalytic Association; Private practice, London. Honorary Reader in the Psychoanalysis Unit at UCl where she organises the Interdisciplinary Programme and teaches on the Master’s and doctoral programmes.

Anne Alvarez: Paranoid-Schizoid Position or Paranoid and Schizoid Positions?

Anne Alvarez, PhD, M.A.C.P. Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, London; author of Live Company: Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived and Abused Children and The Thinking Heart: Three Levels of Psychoanalytic Therapy with Disturbed Children.

Graham Clarke: Psychic Growth and Creativity

Graham Clarke Ph.D.: Visiting Fellow, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of`Essex, U.K. Author of Personal Relations Theory: Fairbairn, Macmurray and Suttie. Co-Editor, Fairbairn and the Object Relations Tradition.

Presentations- Chair: Graham Clarke

Eleanore Armstrong-Perlman: The Zealots and the Blind: Sexual Abuse Scandals from Freud to Fairbairn

Eleanore M. Armstrong-Perlman, M.A. in Philosophy of Mind; Tavistock Qualification, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Family Therapy. Former Chair, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training; Former Theoretical Concepts Editor, British Journal Psychiatry.

Carlos Rodriguez-Sutil: Fairbairn’s Contribution to Understanding Personality Disorders

Carlos Rodríguez-Sutil, Ph.D.: President of the IPR (Relational Psychotherapy Institute) and member of the Board of IARPP-Spain. He has published more than 80 articles and books. Private practice.

Valerie Sinason: Abuse, Trauma and Multiplicity

Valerie Sinason, Ph.D.: Director, Clinic for Dissociative Studies; President, Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability. Poet, writer, child and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst; former Consultant Psychotherapist, the Tavistock Clinic and St Georges Hospital. Edited Trauma, Dissociation and Multiplicity.

Presentations- Chair: James Poulton

James L Poulton, Ph.D: psychologist in private practice, Salt Lake City; Adjunct Professor in Psychology, University of Utah; Faculty International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC. Author, Object Relations and Relationality in Couple Therapy.

Ruben Basili: Recent Work from Argentina’s Espacio Fairbairn

Rubén Mario Basili, M.D. Psychiatry (University of Buenos Aires, honours degree), Full Member Training Analyst and Training Supervisor, Argentine Psychoanalytic Association (APA). Author, several books and papers published in Argentina and abroad. Founding Member and Coordinator, Espacio Fairbairn APA.

Video Reflections on Fairbairn from Otto Kernberg and John Sutherland

Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., F.A.P.A.: Director, Personality Disorders Institute, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division; Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Past-President, International Psychoanalytic Association; Training and Supervising Analyst, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; author,13 books and co-author of 12 others. His latest book is The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression.

John D. Sutherland, MD, PhD., Was Medical Director, The Tavistock Clinic, Founder, Scottish Institute of Human Relations; Editor, International Journal of Psychoanalysis and The Library of Psychoanalysis; Author, Fairbairn’s Journey to the Interior.

Hilary Beattie: Fairbairn and Homosexuality: Personal Struggles amid Psychoanalytic Controversy

Hilary J. Beattie, Ph.D. Psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City; Faculty, Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and Columbia Psychoanalytic Center. Research interests in psychoanalytic approaches to literature and the Scottish contribution to psychoanalysis.

Panel- Groups, Social Issues and the Social Unconscious
Chairs: David Scharff and Earl Hopper

Earl Hopper, PhD: Member, British Psychoanalytic Society; past president, International Group Psychotherapy Association; author, The Social Unconscious and Traumatic Experiences in the Unconscious Life of Groups.

Julian Lousada: Psychoanalysis Goes to Market?

Julian Lousada: Psychoanalyst , BPA; Chair, British Psychoanalytic Council; former Clinical Director, the Adult Department, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

Stephen Frosh: What Passes, Passes By: Why the Psychosocial is Not (Just) Relational.

Stephen Frosh, Pro-Vice-Master and Professor, Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. His most recent books are Hauntings: Psychoanalysis and Ghostly Transmissions; A Brief Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory; Psychoanalysis outside the Clinic; and Feelings.

Ron Aviram: The Large Group in the Mind (With Special Reference to Prejudice, War, and Terrorism).

Ron B. Aviram, Ph.D. Instructor in Clinical Psychology (Psychiatry) Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Clinical Supervisor, New York Presbyterian Hospital’s doctoral internship. Psychoanalytic training, William Alanson White Institute. Author The Relational Origins of Prejudice: A Convergence of Psychoanalytic and Social Cognitive Perspectives.

Closing Group Discussion-Co-Chairs: Graham Clarke, Ivan Ward and David Scharff

Ivan Ward, Deputy Director and Head of Learning, The Freud Museum, London; Series Editor, Ideas in Psychoanalysis (Icon Books;) His most recent publication is Television and Psychoanalysis (Karnac), co-edited with Caroline Bainbridge and Candida Yates.

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