The Forum: Psychoanalysts in Dialogue with Noga Arikha

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Organised by:

British Psychoanalytical Society (incorporating the Institute of Psychoanalysis)

15 March 2023

Time: 20:00 - 21:30

Price: Online Standard £30.00 | Online Concession £20.00 | In Person Standard £30.00 | In Person Concession £20.00

Location: online


In discussion with Dr Muzaffar Husain

Chaired by Dr Stephen Blumenthal

Hybrid Event

At the Institute of Psychoanalysis Byron House, 112A Shirland Road London W9 2BT and Online via Zoom. This event will be recorded and available to all registered participants for 1 week.

The Ceiling Outside: The Science and Experience of the Disrupted Mind.

As her mother slips into the fog of dementia, a philosopher grapples with the unbreakable links between our bodies and our sense of self.

A diabetic woman awakens from a coma having forgotten the last ten years of her life. A Haitian immigrant has nightmares that begin bleeding into his waking hours. A retired teacher loses the use of her right hand due to pain of no known origin.

Noga Arikha began studying these patients and their confounding symptoms in order to explore how our physical experiences inform our identities. Soon after she initiated her work, the question took on unexpected urgency, as Arikha’s own mother began to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Weaving together stories of her subjects’ troubles and her mother’s decline, Arikha searches for some meaning in the science she has set out to study. The result is an unforgettable journey across the ever-shifting boundaries between ourselves and each other.

Noga Arikha is a philosopher, historian of ideas and science humanist, the author of Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours (2007) and numerous essays. She is currently Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole and a professor at Syracuse University in Florence. She is also an Associate Fellow of the Warburg Institute (her alma mater), an Honorary Fellow of the Center for the Politics of Feelings (London), a Research Associate at the Institut Jean Nicod of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), and Honorary Fellow at the Psychoanalysis Unit at UCL with neuropsychologist Katerina Fotopoulou.

Dr Muzaffar Husain is a Psychoanalyst and a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist. He works across the NHS in secure and outpatient settings, and in private practice. He has lifelong interests in how stories of the mind unfold in the treatment and care of his patients. He is also an admirer of how these very stories are represented in literature, music, art, ballet, and all things cultural.

Dr Stephen Blumenthal is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst. He has worked in the NHS and private practice for over 30 years and is a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. In addition to this, his work includes teaching and training, consultancy, writing and research. His particular areas of interest include psychotherapy outcome process and risk. He is interested in understanding complex presentations and the impact these have upon practitioners.

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