Unconscious Images of the Body - International Conference

31st January 2017 By: irina.nedelcu@annafreud.org

On the 20th of November 2016, the Maison Verte-UK organized its first International Conference around the concept of 'Unconscious Images of the Body', inspired by the work of the eminent French Psychoanalyst Francoise Doltó.

Through children drawings, squiggles, modelling and playing Francoise Doltó based the idea of how the expressions of feelings and fantasies were projections of an unconscious image of the body, which she conceived as a symbolic incarnation of the words, desires and erogenous experiences children have encountered in their relation with others.

Speakers talked about their work with children and families from different perspectives: ranging from Anna Freud’s pioneering work with parent toddler groups, to Françoise Doltó’s creation of the Maison Verte in Paris, to Lacanian and post-Kleinian approaches. To complement these papers, two visual artists presented their work, making ideas and concepts come alive for the audience. 

Dr. Catherine Doltó spoke about Haptonomy which consists in the therapeutic work with infants during antenatal life and early beginnings of an unconscious image of the body.

Dr. Lionel Bailly gave a Lacanian understanding of how the language structures hold together the flesh that binds together the imaginary, the real and the symbolic in the unconscious image of the body.

Dr. Inge Pretorious gave a talk about the Psychoanalytic work with groups of small children and their families in the Toddler Hut, work inspired by Anna Freud's observations of toddlers.

Finally, Nathalie Levallois spoke about the body image of autistic children followed by Emily Cooper and Rachel Emily Taylor who showed their artwork on the Conference topic.  

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