On Stupidity

From 'On Stupidity' conference held in February 2019

Looking at our present situation across the world, one word often comes to mind: ‘stupidity’. But what exactly is stupidity? How does it differ from foolishness or naivety? Can you be stupid and smart? Is stupidity static? How has it been understood throughout history, and does it say something about our current predicaments?'

‘On stupidity' was an interdisciplinary event, presented jointly by the Institute of Psychoanalysis and King's College London's Centre for Philosophy and the Visual Arts on 8 March 2019. 

Bion in Marrakech Conference 2019

Inspired by the work of Wilfred Bion, the Bion in Marrakech 2019 conference (22nd – 24th February 2019) will bring together French- and English-speaking analysts from different countries, creating a space to think across the borders of theoretical traditions, psychoanalytic societies and geographical areas. As with the past Bion in Marrakech conferences, it will be an opportunity to develop and discuss diverse ideas united by an engagement with Bion’s pioneering work.

2018 Poetry and Psychoanalysis Competition

We are delighted to announce the winners of our poetry and psychoanalysis competition, in collaboration with Under the Radar Magazine. The following winners were announced on Saturday 30 June 2018 at our conference Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Writing Shame, which was supported by the Forward Arts Foundation:

IOPA 'Special Prize' Winner (for mental health workers)

Cones – Louisa Campbell

Commended (in no particular order)

Ernest Jones Lecture 2018

Ernest Jones Lecture 2018

The 2018 Ernest Jones Lecture “Shell Shock: A Very British Practice” was delivered in style by Professor Sir Simon Wessely at UCL on 25th April. He gave an erudite but also highly entertaining account, rooted in the atmosphere and mores of World War 1. 

The First Annual Psychoanalysis & Poetry Competition

The first annual Psychoanalysis & Poetry competition was judged by poet and psychoanalyst Beatrice Garland. After a first degree in English Literature, she worked as a National Health Service clinician, teacher and researcher in psychological medicine at both the Tavistock Clinic and the Maudsley Hospital. She has won both the National Poetry Competition and the Strokestown International Poetry Prize, and was short-listed for the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize.

Psychoanalysis Summer School 2017

A big thank you to all our members and candidates who contributed to the success of last week’s Psychoanalysis Summer School at Birkbeck University.

This hugely popular event, which is a joint venture between The Institute of Psychoanalysis and Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, is now in its third year and once again attracted students from all over the world, from a range of backgrounds and disciplines.

IoPA Poetry Conference 2017: Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Creative Borders and Boundaries

This coming weekend (9th-10th June 2017), the Institute of Psychoanalysis will be hosting a conference on poetry and psychoanalysis, focusing on ‘Creative Borders and Boundaries’. On Friday evening and throughout Saturday there will be poetry readings, lectures and discussions, with poets, academics and analysts exploring ideas around creativity, politics and consciousness across the separate, yet often complementary, worlds of poetry and psychoanalysis.

Co-organiser Susanne Lansman has talked about the motivations behind the event:

John Steiner receives the 2016 Sigourney Award

We are delighted to report that Dr John Steiner, a Distinguished Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, is one of the recipients of the 2016 Sigourney Award. The Sigourney Award recognises individuals or organisations who are making significant advances in Clinical Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic Research, or Applied Psychoanalysis.

Zygmunt Bauman

Zygmunt Bauman obituary by Eleanor Sawbridge Burton

Zygmunt Bauman, who died on 9th January this year, was a renowned and widely influential sociologist, whose intellectual influences included Sigmund Freud’s body of psychoanalytic theory. Bauman lived, and suffered, through the catastrophic upheavals of the Second World War and its aftermath. Born to Jewish parents in Poznań, Poland in 1925, his family fled upon the Nazis’ invasion in 1939. The Baumans escaped to the USSR and, several years later, Bauman enlisted in the Soviet-controlled First Polish Army, as part of which he fought in several battles.

Eric Rayner obituary by Jennifer Johns

My friend and colleague Eric Rayner, who has died aged 90, was a psychoanalyst, writer and teacher of remarkable empathy and independence.

As chair of the British Psychoanalytical Society’s board and council (1981-84), Eric was a driving force in ensuring that psychoanalysis should extend beyond London and was instrumental in setting up successful training courses away from the capital.

Psychoanalysis can help us make sense of Brexit. An article by David Morgan

The migrant threatens us where it hurts: in the unconscious fear that there is not enough to go round, writes David Morgan

“It is always possible to bind a number of people in love as long as there are others left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness – the outsider may be different in only minor ways, but this will suffice.”

— Freud, Civilisation and Its Discontents

Wilfred Bion

Bion in Marrakech … 3rd Meeting – taking place in Marseille, February 16-19, 2017

In New York (1977) Bion suggested the writing of a book to be called “The Interpretation of Facts” in which ‘facts’ would be translated into dream language, in order to get ‘a two-way traffic’ going with the “Interpretation of Dreams” (in which dreams are translated into facts).

David Tuckett

"The Thinking that Causes Crises" - David Tuckett at TedX

In this Tedx talk, David Tuckett (a training analyst and Director of the University College London Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty) focuses on using psychoanalysis to understand behaviour in financial markets and the economy.

His book, Minding the Markets: An Emotional Finance View of Financial Stability, opened new ways of thinking about economics and finance. He now introduces Conviction Narrative Theory (CNT).

Sally Weintrobe

Disavowal: Sally Weintrobe and the Psychoanalysis of Climate Change Denial

What can psychoanalytic ideas bring to the discussion on climate change?

We spoke to Sally Weintrobe, a psychoanalyst and editor of Engaging with Climate Change, in which psychoanalytic ideas are used to help understand why we are in denial about climate change and the earth's future.

Casswell Bank Architects announced as winners to remodel Institute headquarters

We are delighted to announce that we will be working with Casswell Bank Architects on the remodelling of our headquarters, Byron House.

The first phase of work will commence in the Summer this year, and will involve the refurbishment of our child and adolescent consulting rooms and improved provision for our extensive archive.

The second phase will take place in the Summer of 2017, when substantial improvements will be made to our main lecture room, the Sigmund Freud Room.