Annual Research Lecture

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Organised by:

British Psychoanalytical Society (incorporating the Institute of Psychoanalysis)

07 December 2022

Time: 20:15

Price: Standard £20 | Concession £10


Hybrid - In Person and Online via Zoom
Byron House
112A Shirland Road
United Kingdom
W9 2BT

Map of address


To Feel In My Flesh
Receptivity, Resonance and the Beta Screen
Speaker: Howard B. Levine

Howard B. Levine, is a member of APSA, PINE, the Contemporary Freudian Society, on the faculty of NYU Post-Doc’s Contemporary Freudian Track, on the Editorial Board of the IJP and Psychoanalytic Inquiry, editor-in-chief of the Routledge Wilfred Bion Studies Book Series and in private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is the author of Transformations de l’Irreprésentable (Ithaque 2019) and Affect, Representation and Language: Between the Silence and the Cry (Routledge 2022) and editor of The Post-Bionian Field Theory of Antonino Ferro (Routledge 2022) and The Freudian Matrix of Andre Green, Towards A Psychoanalysis For The 21st Century by André Green (Routledge/IPA forthcoming). His co-edited books include Unrepresented States and the Construction of Meaning (Karnac 2013); On Freud’s Screen Memories (Karnac 2014); The Wilfred Bion Tradition (Karnac 2016); Bion in Brazil. (Karnac 2017); Andre Green Revisited: Representation and the Work of the Negative (Karnac 2018); Covidian Life (2021 Phoenix); and Psychoanalysis of the Psychoanalytic Frame Revisited: A New Look at Bleger’s Classical Work (Routledge/IPA, 2022).


To Feel In My Flesh
Receptivity, Resonance and the Beta Screen

When we are confronted with the challenge of trying to fully convey or describe something about human life and emotional experience, we find ourselves up against the very limitations of language. This problem becomes especially relevant as we attempt to expand psychoanalytic theory so as to enable us to “approach a mental life unmapped by the theories elaborated for the understanding of neurosis.” (Bion 1970, p. 37). This paper seeks to aid in that expansion by revisiting Bion’s early writings about the beta screen, extending his conclusions about communication from the psychotic part of the mind to the broad area of the unrepresented (the unstructured unconscious), suggesting that there is often a potentially communicative meaning, a mute plea for intersubjective regulatory assistance (alpha function), embedded in the unconscious evocation of emotions in the object and that this cry for help may be encrypted in even the most seemingly destructive, resistant and oppositional patients.

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