International Scholars Lecture • The Clinical Common Ground: Shared Intersubjective Experience

February 2, 2016
Lecturer: Ricardo Bernardi, MD Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay

To what extent, and on what basis is a fruitful dialogue among colleagues with different theoretical and technical backgrounds possible? In Uruguay, there has been a shift from a dominant Kleinian position to a pluralistic stance. This has led at the same time to both greater freedom of thought and considerable confusion. The same words are found to have different meanings and the same facts are given different names. Psychoanalytic schools of thought tend to close ranks around some unquestioned and unquestionable postulates or assumptions. Is the fate of pluralism to become a “plurality of orthodoxies”, or might it open an argumentative space where diverse perspectives can interact? The central question is if a common clinical ground can be found which would support such a space. Dr. Bernardi will discuss common ground at different levels. At a phenomenological level, he will focus on the shared resonance of the material in the third ear of participants. At a more conceptual and descriptive level, he will discuss the identification of different dimensions of clinical change in the 3-LM discussion groups he has run under the sponsorship of the IPA. Finally, the existence of shared explanatory hypotheses will be considered.

Dr. Bernardi is Emeritus Professor of the School of Medicine at the Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay. He has served as Regional Editor for Latin America of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. He is member of the IPA Research Committee and of the IPA Clinical Observation Committee, and, amongst numerous other awards, is the winner of the Mary S. Sigourney Award (1999), and the International Journal of Psychoanalysis Best Paper Award (2003).

Learning Objectives: After the lecture, participants should be able to

  • Describe different ways in which specific psychoanalytic schools of thought conceptualize the meanings of the same terminology.
  • Describe therapeutic action of clinical work from different theoretical perspectives and ways these might overlap or co-occur.