The Freud Museum

Events Archive

29 May 2010
9.30am - 5pm

Childhood and Creativity

An apprehension of the Symbolic

Sat. 29th of May 2010

Anna Freud Centre, London, NW3

What kind of 'creative act' is required to become an adult human being? Adult desires are formed through attachments, forged on the body, shaped by social prohibitions and articulated through words. Childhood remains not as a residue of development but as a creative force throughout life. This conference explores the theory and practice of child psychoanalysis as an aspect of all psychoanalysis, drawing on the work of Françoise Dolto, and Donald Winnicott.

A household name in France due to her many public broadcasts on child welfare, Françoise Dolto is little known in the English speaking world, with only two of her 30 books translated. A colleague of Jacques Lacan, she worked as one of the first child analysts in France, using her highly developed intuition to work with children who might otherwise have been dismissed as untreatable.

What makes Dolto so interesting is that she combines a variety of different psychodynamic therapeutic perspectives to enable the understanding of children and parents, rather than remaining in a conventional, analytically bounded framework. She calls upon psychosomatic understanding, and couple, family and group therapeutic resources within her work as a child psychoanalyst. She considers the consequences of transgenerational processes, suggesting, for example, that it took three generations to create a psychotic individual.

(from the introduction to Theory and Practice in Child Psychoanalysis: An introduction to the work of Françoise Dolto ed. Guy Hall, Françoise Hivernel, Sian Morgan)


Christopher Reeves (UK)
(Psychotherapist and chair of the Squiggle Foundation)
'Let's pretend …': exploring the links between imagination, creativity, play and interpretation

Sian Morgan (UK)
(Psychotherapist and author)
Separation and Creativity: when 'lets pretend' goes wrong and transitions fail

Sharon Kivland (UK & FR)
(Artist and lecturer)
It is only the first step that counts: Desire held in check in three works of art

Tamara Landau (FR)
(Psychoanalyst and sculpture)
Creativity and the symbolic structuring of time and desire in Winnicott and Dolto

Bice Benvenuto (IT)
(Psychoanalyst and child psychotherapist)
Little Sammy's magic face and the poetics of the unconscious

Ann Marie Canu (FR)
(Psychoanalyst and child psychiatrist)
La Maison Verte: A transitional space
"You push a door, and a world opens"

Joan Raphael-Leff (UK)
(Psychoanalyst and author)
'Dreamers by daylight' - some childhood sources of creativity.

Isobel Urquhart
(Psychotherapist and lecturer, Homerton College, Cambridge)

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