Could psychoanalysis be considered a science? Interview with R.D. Hinshelwood: Part Two

Question. Dr. Hinshelwood first of all, after several weeks, how did you find the reply of the Conference happened in Rome on the 3rd and 4th of October, to the theme of your book “Research on the Couch”? And what do you think about the reading given by the Italian psychoanalysts who were present at the Conference?

R.D. Hinshelwood. This is a difficult question because it is so much more difficult to reflect on presentations at a conference – and especially when my work is the focus of interest.  I have various feelings of satisfaction and annoyance, all of which interfere with my ability to fully respond to what is said at the time (and until I see it on paper), and indeed I then remember it in a biased way.  So I think first of all, I cannot give a detailed response and analysis of what was said.  I have only general impressions, and they cannot be very reliable.
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Could psychoanalysis be considered a science? Interview with R.D. Hinshelwood: Part One

Question. Dr. Hinshelwood, your coming in Rome the next 3rd and 4th of October, will open a debate around a question nowadays always more important for the psychoanalytical field: Could psychoanalysis be considered a science?
In your book, “Research on the Couch: Single Case Studies, Subjectivity and Psychoanalytic Knowledge” (Routledge, 2013), you point to that Freudian attempt that lasts from more than a century and has its only decisive key in the clinical practice.
What is the reason why you moved your interest to develop a discourse on the features of the psychoanalytical research?    

R.D. Hinshelwood.  Well, perhaps I was always interested in human minds, and what we can know about each other, and about the mind in general.  But, during clinical training from about 1970 onwards, it was the practice of psychoanalysis which dominated my interest.   I was also working in the public service, in psychiatry, and interested in how psychoanalytic ideas could contribute to improving the life of the most seriously disabled psychiatric patients.
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Psychoanalysis in the Era of Cyberspace. Interview with Glen O. Gabbard

Question. Dr. Gabbard, after several years you came back to Rome to discuss a paper about “The privacy, the Self, and the practice of psychoanalysis in the era of Internet”(1). A new frontier on which it is necessary stay and reflect if psychoanalysis wants to keep in touch with new diseases of the modern age.

How long did you take interest on this theme? What made you want to treat it?

Glen O. Gabbard. I could not avoid it. The world has changed. The practice of analysis and therapy has changed. Patients expect to email or text their analyst or therapist. My patients were texting me with a request for an appointment change. They were Googling me before the first appointment so they could find out more about me. Read more

Bodies Under Siege. Interview to Armando R. Favazza

Question. Dr Favazza, in May 2011 the Johns Hopkins University Press has published the 3rd edition of “Bodies Under Siege: Self-Mutilation, Nonsuicidal Self-Injury, and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry”, that since 1987 it is regarded as the most important work on self-injurious behaviours and body modification practices, explored in their complexity by cultural and clinical perspectives, paying attention to the relationship with the contemporary context.
Could you explain why many years ago, you took interest in self mutilation and decided to dedicate yourself to the research on its meaning?

Armando R. Favazza. I was fortunate to study under the famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead, and so my professional identity is that of a cultural psychiatrist who is interested in the interface between clinical psychiatry and cultural anthropology. In the late 1970s, at the beginning of my career, I mainly wrote a series of articles in an Read more

“Looking at Shame”. Interview to Benjamin Kilborne

Di Cioccio. Mr Kilborne, shame is a feeling and an experience on which you spent time in the last years, marking its relation with trauma. You wrote: <<Shame is being caught with one’s pants down in one’s own eyes>>, and this suggests us to work on how it is related to looking and being seen.
Could you introduce us to the role of the other’s look in the genesis of “being ashamed”?

Kilborne. This is a fundamental question, and one that is not easily answered. Let me begin by saying that our notion of identity is based in part on what we know and fantasize about what others see of us. So who we are depends in part on how we are seen. And how we imagine we are seen.
But how can we know how we are seen?
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Trauma “not responded to” and the prelogical nature of the accident in adolescence


The prelogical nature of the accident in adolescence talks about mind’s crushing when the time of a second birth implies the return of that automatic and primitive anguish when faced with ineluctable biological propelling forces of the body. This anguish is what the adolescent is not able to historicize in the inevitableness and at the same time, in the way entirely fortuitous of the accident happening, because the repetition of the traumatic situation is vital for his survival. The absence of the Other’s answer to the traumatic experience of the birth, introduces the tragic dimension that lives the reoccurrence of self- harmful behaviours. The tragic dimension of trauma is related with shame, and it subjugates adolescent to repeat it unless or until, an Other can at last respond and not confirm that trauma as the only way he is awarded to exist.

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Anorexia: the risk of a suicidal nihilism to survive in adolescence


Death as what makes possible the anorexic subject’s referring to other, in the happened admission of the unsubstantiality of what in which he previously pleasing, strove himself: the assurance of the Other’s jouissance (Lacan J., 1973). The «will of nothingness […] turned against the most basic life’s presuppositions» (Nietzsche, 1887) imposes itself in the dislike for human and corporeal, as what allows a feeling of uniqueness and extraordinariness that soon reveals the subject as a prisoner of the conformity and homogeneity of an “uniform- body” which springs the reality of its sacrifice Read more


School-mistresses learn from impasse


This article talks about the plan called Working together.. One by one!,- realized since May until September 2011in an Institute of Schools lies in Abruzzo-, composing the evolving stages of its journey, referring to the application of pratique-à-plusieurs’ device in the work with groups of school-mistresses of the nursery and primary school. The need of opening a listening space in which new answers to the question of an institution being in trouble with the promotion of a collaborative culture between its operators could ripen and settle, established the possibility of doing this experience. The intervention was thought and planned on the importance to rebuild the educational speech and the scholastic field from the two dimensions of the subject and the desire, referring to the application of the lacanian psychoanalysis in social institutions. The practicality of this experience turns in the possibility of questioning them one by one, on how invent the way to become a desiring équipe in which everyone takes is own place from which contributes together with the others to find a logic of common working that finds in the workgroup that instance which supports and orients every teacher to not give in to the impasse on which the educative practice moves question. The article reflects in its expositive organization, the real need with which the plan has to compare itself to succeed in promoting the novelty of its proposal, in other words a policy Read more