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(1985). First Day. Bul. Anna Freud Centre, 8(2):84-110.

(1985). Bulletin of the Anna Freud Centre, 8(2):84-110

First Day

The proceedings opened with a plenary session chaired and introduced by Professor Albert Solnit.

H. Kennedy: I want to welcome you all very warmly to this Colloquium. We are delighted to see you here at the Anna Freud Centre again this year and I'm sure we all look forward to a profitable and interesting weekend. We have apologies from Professors Serge Lebovici and Colette Chiland who were strike-bound but hope to fly in on the first plane this morning, and Dr Sam Ritvo who has also been unavoidably delayed. Otherwise I think we are all present, so I will now hand over the meeting to the Chairman of this first Plenary Session, Dr Al Solnit.

A. Solnit: This year's Colloquium on ‘Fantasy and Body Representation in Physical Disturbances’ is not only an effort to show the continuity of previous colloquia but is also an effort to examine the way in which we use new knowledge and use the widening scope of psychoanalytic understanding and treatment. Starting with Freud's ‘Studies on hysteria’ of the puzzling and almost mystical quality of somatic complaints, attention was drawn to the factor of endowment—the equipment, so to speak. Now, psychoanalysts have no trouble with the assumption that each mind, each personality is unique. They leave it up to the general physician, internist, paediatrician, to assume that each body is unique and generally speaking they do not tend to worry about that too much, or have not in the past. They have, in a sense, said that the mind is so complicated, the personality is so complicated that we must assume that the body is constant. Now I know all of you will rail against that, but if you examine your everyday conversations and your way of going about trying to fathom the complexity of the mind, generally speaking there is a quiet assumption that the body of each child and of each adult are, on the whole, pretty much the same. In fact, you know this is not true. As soon as it is called to your attention, as it was by Freud in his elaboration of the concept of somatic compliance, each of you knows that you view each person's body as unique. However, psychoanalytic theory, in general, has been advanced and developed with some effort to keep constant the assumption about the physical equipment.


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