Avner Bergstein – Buried in the Future Which Has Not Happened

Book tickets

Organised by:

British Psychoanalytic Association

01 July 2023

Time: 14:00 - 16:00

Price: £35 - £20

Location: online


The Debbie Bellman Memorial Lecture

Chair: Alan Colam
Lecture 2 – 4pm (British Summer time)


Avner Bergstein
Facilitating one’s ability for truthfully apprehending reality is at the heart of psychoanalytic work. Clinically, Bion repeatedly underscores the close observation of the evolution of the emotional experience in the immediacy of the here and now of the session as a way of approaching an infinitely complex and often unthinkable reality, and for expanding the individual’s capacity for tolerating the pain and frustration entailed in this encounter.

Bion’s radical contribution to psychoanalysis, and its affinity with contemporary insights from Quantum Theory, offers a manner of listening that extricates us from a hallucinatory grasp on the past, elaborating the capacity to tolerate the unknown and unknowable infinite stream towards the future. Hence, the work of analysis, as depicted in this paper, is not only revealing unconscious thoughts buried in the past, but also cultivating a psychically alive mind able to generate new thoughts, oriented toward the future and the unknown. In this thinking, the analyst aims not so much at facilitating the transformation of unconscious into conscious, but rather, as Bion suggests, facilitating the dialectical, paradoxical, and often contradictory movement between finite and infinite, releasing the individual, patient and analyst, from a rigidified imprisonment in a hallucinatory reality.

Avner Bergstein is a training and supervising psychoanalyst and faculty member of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society. He works in private practice with adults, adolescents and children and has worked for several years at a kindergarten for children with autism. He has authored numerous papers elaborating on the clinical implications of the writings of Bion and Meltzer and his papers are translated into many languages. He is author of the book Bion and Meltzer’s Expeditions into Unmapped Mental Life: Beyond the Spectrum in Psychoanalysis. He is a visiting lecturer at several psychoanalytic institutes, and conducts reading seminars focusing on the writings of WR Bion.

The opinions and views expressed are entirely those of the speaker in a personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the BPA.

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