INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUPLE AND FAMILY PSYCHOANALYSIS
VIIIth International Congress 2018 of the IACFP
Couple and Family History and Stories
in Couple and Family Psychoanalysis
Clinical work with couples and families comes up against issues relating to History (social, cultural and political) and individual histories. The conference will reflect on ways that technique varies according to clinicians’ theoretical and cultural influences. Clinical technique can emphasize historical reconstruction, or there can be a greater emphasis on the ‘here and now’ as an elucidation of the history as lived out in the present.
We will examine the nature of trauma transmitted intergenerationally, and the unconscious phantasies that inform the multiple narratives of the family romance. Traumatic experience is often carried silently within the couple and family links, sometimes escaping conscious understanding and expressed behaviourally rather than voiced in relation to the other or others. Transformation within couples and families depends upon the construction of a new and meaningful, historical understanding, rather than the discovery of a correct or actual biographical history. The intersubjective space between the couple and the analytic therapist affords a therapeutic opportunity for novel cultural forms to be borne and discovered within the intimacy of the couple and family.
The analyst’s internal stance should enable him/her to avoid developing a defensive linear understanding, and support the elaboration of a new history that integrates the couple and family’s past with their present and future.
The distress within couples and families can partially be understood as arising from a resistance to sustain a position of negative capability, so germane to their ultimate growth, creativity, and evolution.
The 2018 IACFP Congress will invite clinical contributions that employ psychoanalytic observation and an in-‐depth study of transference and countertransference, and that give us the opportunity to study the convergences and divergences of contemporary psychoanalytic technique with couples and families.