International Conference: ‘Narratives of The Therapeutic Encounter : Psychoanalysis, Talking Therapies and Creative Practice’

Proposals for 20-minute papers are sought from researchers, authors, artists, film-makers, and clinical practitioners interested in talking therapies and creative practice for this conference to be held on the 7th-8th of December 2017.

The conference aims to focus on the therapeutic encounter, depicted via the patient’s experience, expressed through the creative act, and as counter-weight to the practitioner’s ‘case study’. This interdisciplinary project seeks to explore the role that the creative arts (literature, film, media, art) have played in offering representations and explorations of minds, and relationships, therapies and mental health, and more pressingly, ill-health.

We encourage submissions that engage with creative output in French, although analysis of other language outputs, and comparative analyses, are also welcomed.

Paper proposals (250-300 word abstract plus bio-bibliography) should be sent to susan.bainbrigge@ed.ac.uk  by 31 January 2017. Expressions of interest, and intention to propose a paper, prior to the deadline, would be welcomed (and would assist with relevant funding applications).

Submissions may cover but are not limited to the questions and topics below

  • Explorations of the concept of ‘theory fictions’
  • Explorations of the relationship between therapy, the imagination and creative practice
  • The healing potential of the intersubjective encounter
  • The place/role of language in the therapeutic setting
  • Depictions/problematisations of madness
  • Self-discovery, and states of ‘not knowing’
  • Creative expression as scriptotherapy
  • Bibliotherapy
  • Views on/depictions of creativity in relation to containment, sublimation and/or reparation.
  • Boundaries; frames; beginnings, middles and endings; structure, form and formlessness
  • Creativity and play
  • Drama; myth; conflict
  • Listening as ethical act/the listener as witness
  • Monologue and dialogue
  • Privacy and exposure
  • Bearing pain: the patient as sufferer (‘patio’)
  • Depictions of psychoanalysis, and psychiatry, as ideological battlegrounds, as explored and depicted in creative practice.
  • Usage of diagnostic terminology; cultural shifts and blindspots in presentations of altered and disturbed states of mind.

More information, including a conference overview, can be found here.