SANDOR RADO LECTURE-To Feel in My Flesh-Receptivity, Resonance and the Beta Screen

the sixty-fifth annual

Howard B. Levine, MD

To Feel in My Flesh
Receptivity, Resonance and the Beta Screen


Presentation of the
George E. Daniels Merit Award

Tuesday, May 2, 2023
8:00 PM

Columbia University Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive
( enter via 116th St. click for directions)
or via Zoom

When we are confronted with the challenge of trying to fully convey or describe something about human life and emotional experience, we find ourselves up against the very limitations of language. This problem becomes especially relevant as we attempt to expand psychoanalytic theory so as to enable us to “approach a mental life unmapped by the theories elaborated for the understanding of neurosis.” (Bion 1970, p. 37). This paper seeks to aid in that expansion by revisiting Bion’s early writings about the beta screen, extending his conclusions about communication from the psychotic part of the mind to the broad area of the unrepresented (the unstructured unconscious), suggesting that there is often a potentially communicative meaning, a mute plea for intersubjective regulatory assistance (alpha function), embedded in the unconscious evocation of emotions in the object and that this cry for help may be encrypted in even the most seemingly destructive, resistant and oppositional patients.

Howard B. Levine, MD is a member of the faculty and a supervising analyst at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP), a member of the faculty at the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England East (PINE), and is in private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the IPA, a founding member of the Group for the Study of Psychoanalytic Process (GSPP) and the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies, Inc. (BGPS). He is on the faculty of the NYU Post-Doc Contemporary Freudian track, on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Inquiry, and editor-in-chief of The Routledge Wilfred R. Bion Studies Book Series.

He has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews on various subjects related to psychoanalytic process and technique, intersubjectivity, comparative psychoanalytic studies, the treatment of primitive personality disorders, and the consequences and treatment of early trauma and childhood sexual abuse. His new book, The Freudian Matrix of André Green: Towards A Psychoanalysis for The 21st Century (Routledge/IPA), was released in March 2023.

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