Violent Emotions: A Close Reading Seminar 2023

Presenter: Avner Bergstein

Intolerance of the live, unpredictable, complex and often overwhelming aspects of emotional reality, as well as a deficient capacity to ‘dream’ and imbue experience with meaning, often lead the individual to deaden emotion, and to live in a delusional world of inanimate objects and psychotic functioning.

Through a close reading of some of Bion’s texts, we will elaborate Bion’s notion of the mind’s limited capacity to grasp the complexity of life and to bear the impact of the emotions stirred by the individual’s relationship with its objects. When the emotions aroused are too strong or intolerable for the individual, it may withdraw from emotional life so as to avoid the complications inherent in this awareness of life and living objects. However, the demands of reality soon force the individual to resume its relationship with the objects around. One may then be compelled to split material reality from psychical life, allowing oneself to continue living with no need to acknowledge its emotions in the face of the animate, feeling object. The need for love, understanding, and mental development is now deflected into the search for material satisfaction. This search is reminiscent of the obsessive use the child with autism makes of autistic objects and their preference of these over contact with live persons. It is often evident in a patient’s split between the emotional and material aspects of the psychoanalytic experience, reducing the aesthetic impact of the analyst to a mere function and avoiding all contact with them as a human, feeling subject.

The content of this seminar is intended to compliment the webinar series Trauma & Primitive Mental States with Judy Eekhoff, though participants may join this event independent of the other.

Category Details
Time Saturday at 9:00 am – 12:00 pm  (Seattle) (Pacific)
Dates February 18  (2023)
Location Online via Zoom
Fee COR Members: $135;  Non-members: $180
CEUs 3.0 hours total

Scholarships Are Available

For many years, thanks to a generous donor, COR has been able to offer scholarships to those who need financial assistance. Please complete the Scholarship Request Form if you need a scholarship.

Avner Bergstein
Avner Bergstein
Avner Bergstein is a training and supervising psychoanalyst and faculty member of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society. He works in private practice with adults, adolescents and children and has worked for several years at a kindergarten for children with autism. He has authored numerous papers elaborating on the clinical implications of the writings of Bion and Meltzer and his papers are translated into many languages. He is author of the book Bion and Meltzer’s Expeditions into Unmapped Mental Life: Beyond the Spectrum in Psychoanalysis. He is a visiting lecturer at several psychoanalytic institutes, and conducts reading seminars focusing on the writings of these two authors. He is also the recipient of the IPA 2021 Elizabeth Young-Bruehl Prejudice Award.

Course CEU Tests and Evaluation

As as a part of Washington State requirements, each student who is wanting to claim class credits toward their license CEUs is required to complete a quiz, with a passing grade of 70%. You can take the quiz as many times as needed. Once the class is completed the final quiz will also have a course evaluation, which is also required, but can be completed anonymously.


Quiz Links

Session – 2/18/23 Evaluation

Missed classes, seminars, events are not eligible for partial refunds. Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the first class are eligible for a full refund, less a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations made less than 30 days in advance of the first session are nonrefundable and non-transferable unless COR is able to fill your spot with another registrant. Cancellations made on or after the start of the first session are 100% non-refundable and nontransferable. In the event of an emergency, each situation will be considered.


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