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Thinking Here and Now –

Conversation  with Innovators in Psychotherapy (zoom)

Aner Govrin and Sharon Ziv-Beiman hosting

A conversation with Anne Alvarez

"Hello-o-o …" "Hey!" – Psychoanalysis with inaccessible patients

A conversation with Anne Alvarez

03.10.21, 19:30-21:15 (Israel Time; UTC+3)

"From her book Live Company and her other publications, I have come to think of Alvarez's work as having a unique recognizable style. She writes most usually and most beautifully about deep, often frightening engagements with patients whom she makes so human and salvageable despite their terrible alienation, their psychic conditions of emptiness and their grotesque symptoms. I suspect that it is a big part of her clinical power and efficacy that she can mentalize such patients, find common human ground amid their stark and terrible Otherness" ( Adriana Harris 2009).

Anne Alvarez's unique voice has been with us for almost 50 years. She has become known for her intensive psychoanalytic work with autistic children and other hopeless children, children who had become dead to the world in every practical sense.  Alvarez writes about her unique engagements with patients in her own unique voice, which combines Kleinain's theory, developmental psychology, and themes from literature, art, and music.  Alvarez stresses the therapist's capacity to be active to the extent of expressing alarm, gravity, and delight in place of neutrality, adaptation, and containment.

In this conversation, Aner Govrin and Sharon Ziv-Beiman will discuss with Alvarez her theoretical Kleinian roots, autism and its treatment, empty states, the analyst's use of the self within the psychotherapeutic encounter, and how new learning and internalization can occur in the context of safety. Finally, we will try to understand Alvarez's faith in psychoanalysis, with the most inaccessible of children, against all odds, connecting with them, human being to human being.

Anne Alvarez, PhD, M.A.C.P is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (and retired Co-Convener of the Autism Service, Child and Family Dep't. Tavistock Clinic, London, where she still teaches.). She is the author of Live Company: Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline,  Deprived and Abused Children. and has edited by Susan Reid, Autism and Personality: Findings from the Tavistock Autism Workshop. A book in her honor, edited by Judith Edwards, entitled Being Alive: Building on the Work of Anne Alvarez was published in 2002. She was a Visiting Professor at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Society in November 2005 and is an Honorary Member of the Psychoanalytic Centre of California. Her latest book, The Thinking Heart: Three Levels of Psychoanalytic Therapy with Disturbed Children was published in April 2012 by Routledge.

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