Sibling Rivalry, The Missing Link

Location: Friends Meeting House, 43 St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LW

Date: 16 June 2012

10am - 12pm

Sibling Rivalry, The Missing Link

The whole edifice of psychoanalytic thinking and theorizing is predicated on the mother-father-baby triangulation.  However it is clear that position in the family, i.e. the presence of siblings, plays a significant and often critical part in the development of the character of the individual.  Despite this understanding there are no psychoanalytic theories that incorporate this truth.  This is a curious and worrying omission. 

In this talk I want to look at how and why siblings and the significance of their relationships have been airbrushed out of the analytic picture.  The reasons for this are both theoretical and personal.  If siblings and their vicissitudes are to be taken account of it poses a problem for the notion of the primacy of the infantile sexual desire for the parents.  Further, if the wish to marry mother and kill father are the essential unconscious wishes of the psyche then there is no place for siblings other than as parental substitutes.  Another reason lies in Freud’s complex early life.  With reference to clinical vignettes and sporting history, I will explore how we might bring thinking about siblings into the consulting room.

Ian Williamson is an SAP child and adolescent analyst.  He has worked in the NHS and in special education and is now working solely in private practice. He was a supervisor on the Child Training at the SAP and Chair of the Child Analytic Training for many years.  He recently co-wrote and published a book called Winning at All Costs; Sporting Gods and Their Demons.

Cost: £50 for the series / £20 per talk
(Coffee and cake will be served)
Venue: Friends Meeting House, 43 St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LW

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