Work Groups

An innovative feature of this Congress are the Work Groups on clinical issues and on conceptual integration, which will meet for in-depth small-group discussions lasting between two and six hours, sometimes preceded by a panel.  When you buy your Congress tickets you will be asked which Work Group you would like to join a Work Group from the list below.

Click on the links below for full description and times.

Work Groups – summaries


Clinical Observation of Patient Transformations

We will work with clinical material emphasizing the transformations of the patient during the analytic process (positive, negative or no transformation) using some of the dimensions of the 3-Level Model for Observing Patient Transformations. We will observe, at an anchor point, and at selected transformation points the manifestation of the patient’s conscious and unconscious processes, including transference and counter-transference observations concerning one or more aspects of the complexity of transformations.

Panel Session (Thursday, 1 August (11:00 to 16:00 with lunch-break) then continuing in small groups on Friday, 2 August (14:00 to 18:00 with coffee-break), concluding on Saturday, 3 August (16:30 to 18:30 with coffee-break)

Beyond Pluralism 
 - searching for a theory of unconscious phantasy

Unconscious phantasy is one of the main concepts in psychoanalysis, well founded in clinical reality. But we find very diverging theoretical positions to unconscious phantasy and its role in treatment. In the Work Groups we will work on an in-depth-comparison of the different conceptualisations using an approach the Project Committee on Conceptual Integration has developed. This will help the participants to improve their own reflection on their implicit use of psychoanalytic concepts in practice.

Panel Session (Friday, 2 August (11:00 to 12:30) then continuing in small groups on Friday, 2 August (14:00 to 18:00 with coffee-break)

Aggression across different psycho-analytic theories

This group will be chaired by members of the Toronto Work Group on Conceptual Integration.  A member of this group will first present some of the work of the group, in looking at different theories of aggression.  We hope to then have a lively discussion at two levels:  1. the different conceptualizations of aggression, their usefulness, and their clinical testability,  2. the methodology of this kind of conceptual comparison and integration.

Small group sessions on Thursday, 1 August (14:00 to 16:00), then continuing on Friday 2 August (16:30 to 18:30), concluding on Saturday, 3 August (16:30 to 18:30) or Saturday (14.00 to 16:00) in the case of the English/German bilingual group).


Re-Thinking some of the Fundamental Tenets of Psychoanalytic Theory

In psychoanalytic theory, to some degree irrespective of differing schools, we continue to rely on hypotheses formulated by Freud in the late 19th  / early 20th century tied to the neurophysiology of that time. A review of some of these hypotheses, such as the pleasure-unpleasure principle, dynamic unconscious, signal anxiety, libido, aggressive drive, in light of current neuroscience is in order. Two of these hypotheses will be chosen for an in-depth discussion and re-evaluation.

Small group sessions on Thursday, 1 August (14:00 to 16:00), then continuing on Friday 2 August (16:30 to 18:30).


Free Association

The purpose of this Work Group is to study Free Association as a monadic and dyadic process in life and  psychoanalysis, as method of healing and research. We will aim to define the technique of Free Association, its clinical and epistemological status, its relation to various theories of pathogenesis: aggression, sexuality, dreams, fantasies, enactments, conflict, defence and transference.

Small group sessions on Thursday, 1 August (14:00 to 16:00), then continuing on Friday 2 August (16:30 to 18:30), concluding on Saturday, 3 August (16:30 to 18:30).


Pensar los límites 

La investigación se centra en las presentaciones clínicas actuales y en nuestra observación de que las principales teorías posfreudianas no dan cuenta de la complejidad del fenómeno clínico. A partir de ahí exploramos, con una particular metodología , la obra freudiana. Esto nos llevó a repensarla y a revisitarla. Ahí encontramos notables escotomizaciones de su obra que nos llamaron poderosamente la atención. Deseamos plantear en esta presentación parte de esta investigación en desarrollo, en particular en relación al concepto del “yo”.

Small group sessions on Friday 2 August (14:00 to 16:00).



This group will study the diverse meanings of the concept of splitting in analytic discourse, all of which may be traced back to Freud. Reflection on these meanings and the fact that a single concept is used in such varied ways, will allow for a deeper understanding of the foundations of analytic theory and practice and of differences between analytic schools (e.g., in regard to their notions of mind, phantasy, external reality and unity).

Small group sessions on Friday 2 August (16:30 to 18:30).


Contemporary Freudian Perspectives

The development of the work group forum at the Contemporary Freudian Society will be described, with its use of clinical process, readings, and an attempt to formulate a methodology to better understand events of self-disclosure and their meaning.  Clinical process will be presented to provide an opportunity for the group to discuss the use of self-disclosure as furthering or disrupting the analytic process.

Small group sessions on Friday 2 August (16:30 to 18:30).


Investigación del concepto de Inconsciente / Investigation of the Concept of the Unconscious up to the First Freudian Topic

Nuestra investigación se centra en el concepto de inconsciente desde el inicio de la obra freudiana (incluye escritos prepsicoanalíticos.) Referentes: versión castellana de Amorrortu,  inglesa de Strachey, cotejándolas con la Gesammelte Werke. Esperamos recuperar los diluidos conceptos freudianos. Este rescate producirá: a) una revaloración de la técnica (asociación libre y atención flotante) a través de las palabras del paciente. b) un nuevo impulso a la clínica. c) la renovación teórica de sus fundamentos.

Our research centres on the concept of the unconscious from the beginning of Freud’s oeuvre (including pre-psychoanalytic publications). Reference documents: the Amorrortu Spanish version and Strachey’s English version, comparing them with the Gesammelte Werke. We hope to recover the watered-down Freudian concepts. This reclamation will give rise to: a) a revaluation of technique (free association and evenly suspended attention) through the patient’s words; b) a new boost to clinical work; c) theoretical renewal of its foundations.

One repeated small group session: Friday, 2 August (16:30 to 18:30), runs again on Saturday, 3 August (16:30 to 18:30). You may choose to attend either one of these sessions.