The Freud Museum

Events Archive

16 March 1996

Science and Psychoanalysis

Joint Conference with the British Journal of Psychotherapy

The Science and Psychoanalysis conference jointly organised with the British Journal of Psychotherapy, was held at the Anna Freud Centre in March. We would like to thank all of the speakers who contributed to such an interesting and exhilarating day.

Joseph Schwartz
What is science? What is psychoanalysis? What is to be done?

David L Smith
Should psychoanalysts believe what they say?

Karl Figlio
Science, Transference, and the Unconscious

James Hopkins
Psychoanalytic and Scientific Thinking

Peter Fonagy
The Future of an Empirical Psychoanalysis

Chairman: Dr. Michael Conran

Conference Report

Joe Schwartz was a former physicist, and is now a psychotherapist. He is the author of Einstein for Beginners. Karl Figlio was for many years a zoologist and is currently the director of the psychoanalytic studies centre at the University of Essex. Peter Fonagy is at the forefront of experimental research in psychoanalysis at both the Anna Freud Centre and University College, London. David Smith, a philosopher/psychotherapist, is Dean of Regent's College School of Psychotherapy, while James Hopkins is a philosopher at King's College London, with a sophisticated understanding of the complexity of scientific thought. The conference was chaired by Michael Conran of the British Psycho-Analytical Society.

This conference was intended to promote intelligent debate about the relation between scientific thought, medical practice and psychoanalysis. It not only explored some entrenched myths about science but also asked what lessons can be learnt for psychoanalysis.

The papers from the conference have been published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy Vol 13, No. 1, Autumn 1996, edited by Jean Arundale.

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