Salman Akhtar on Love: Mature, pathological and clinical

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Organised by:

Tavistock Relationships

11 November 2023

Time: 14:00 - 18:00

Price: £80.00 (£60.00 Trainee/NHS/Subscriber)

Location: online


With Salman Akhtar

This three-part workshop will focus on romantic love between two adult partners. Starting with Freud’s contributions to this realm but going farther and further to include mid 20th Century psychoanalysis, more contemporary writings and his own views Salman will offer a nuanced deconstruction of what in popular parlance is called ‘love’.

The need for love and its sustaining power will be commented upon. It will be proposed that a seamless blending of affection and eroticism as well as that of libido and aggression undergird the experience of mature love which additionally warrants a mourning of primary narcissism and early symbiotic idealizations, renunciation of instinctual and moral masochism, and mastery of the tragedy inherent in the oedipal configuration. Failing this, psychopathological derailments and distortions begin to govern one’s love life.

Salman will offer case material demonstrating how all such experiences normal or abnormal enter the clinical situation. Here themes of affection, tenderness, and erotic desire in the transference-countertransference axis will occupy the center stage.

Throughout the presentation clinical vignettes, personal recollections, literary snippets, and evocative poetry will be presented to enliven the nosological and technical concepts.

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