The Early Shapes of Psychic Life as Forerunners of (Bi)Sexuality• Patrick Miller, MD, Société Psychanalytique de Recherche et de Formation, Paris

February 11, 2020  8:00 p.m.

Patrick Miller, MD Société Psychanalytique de Recherche et de Formation lecturer 
Rosemary Balsam, MD discussant

“It has become a habit to say that the analytical pair is a couple. If such is the case we need to further our understanding of the kind of copulation that is taking place, the different aspects of the intercourse, and how it ends up being either sterile or procreative” Patrick Miller will argue in this presentation.

A visiting scholar from the Société Psychanalytique de Recherche et de Formation and prominent psychoanalyst, Dr. Miller´s talk will focus on the role of aprés coup in the construction of genital sexual life. His presentation will revolve around deepening of his notion of penetrability and permeability (early shapes of sexuality), connecting it with adult sexuality using two substantial clinical vignettes to discuss the possibility of thinking about a drive-related container/contained as it pertains to the analytic couple.

We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to welcome Patrick Miller, MD whose scholarship and clinical work convey his deep understanding of the complexity of Freud’s theoretical and clinical ideas. Dr Miller uses his close reading of Freud to delve into the nature of the analyst’s “psychical reality” and the challenges the analyst faces in the daily work. He looks carefully at the analyst’s stance and reconsiders the fundamental concepts of free association, free floating attention, neutrality, and analytic listening to examine the functioning of the analyst’s mind from different perspectives as he draws upon Winnicott, Bion, Aulagnier, Lacan and Ferenczi. Dr. Miller’s scholarship revolves around the themes of sexuality, the body and the psyche-soma dynamic as well as to the effects of early trauma. He vividly describes his clinical work to make his theoretical ideas come alive.

Patrick Miller, M.D. is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He completed his analytic training in Paris, where he studied both with Piera Aulagnier and Andre Green. He co-founded the Société Psychanalytique de Recherche et de Formation in Paris in 2005, and he served as president from 2007-2011. Dr. Miller is an IPA training analyst and a member of CAPS in Princeton. He has authored numerous papers in international journals, and has published two books, Le Psychanalyste pendant la Séance (2001) and Driving Soma: A Transformational Process in the Analytic Encounter (2014). He has a psychoanalytic practice in Paris.

Rosemary H. Balsam F.R.C.Psych. (London); M.R.C.P. (Edinburgh); is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale Medical School; Staff Psychiatrist at the Dept. of Student Mental Health and Counseling; Training and Supervising Analyst at Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. Her special interests are in gender, sexuality and body issues, especially female development.

After attending this session, participants should be able to: 1) Explain the erogenous body of the drives, especially ‘psychic penetrability’ in clinical practice; 2) Use countertransference enactments, slips, and other parapraxes to alert oneself to the specificities of an analysand’s early psychosexual idiosyncrasies.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.