2017 - 2018 Scientific Meetings

Michael Levin, PsyD, Chair
Michael Bronzo, MD, Beth Steinberg, PhD and J. Marc Wallis, LCSW, Committee Members

The SFCP Scientific Meetings present new work in, or relevant to, psychoanalytic theory, technique and applied psychoanalysis. SFCP members, visiting psychoanalysts and scholars present recent papers, which are then formally discussed, followed by group discussion with the audience. All SFCP members, candidates, community members and mental health professionals are welcome free of charge. Meetings take place on the second Monday of the month unless otherwise noted.

Program Title: The Body's Way of Dreaming: Music and Psychical Life Beyond Representation
Date: Monday, January 8, 2018
Time: 07:30pm - 09:45pm
Presenter: Peter Goldberg, PhD
Discussant: Adam Blum, PsyD
Moderator: Michael Levin, PsyD
Location: San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
444 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Program Fee: Free
CME/CE: 2 CME/CE Credits available; non-SFCP member cost is $ 24.00

With music, I am almost incapable of obtaining any pleasure. Some rationalistic, or perhaps analytic, turn of mind in me rebels against being moved by a thing without knowing why I am thus affected and what it is that affects me.

In musical communication, however, engagement is lived in terms of embodiment: bodily presence or existence in the present moment. The human body, being the place where we can confirm who is I, where is here and when is now, is moved immediately by the movement of the music. Hearing music we may confirm what is here and now. The importance of the human person as embodied has been ignored or underestimated in theology [and psychoanalysis?], and this has particularly strong consequences in the understanding and appreciation of music in and as theology [and psychoanalysis?]. As Simon Frith notes: 'the danger — the threat posed by music and dance to aesthetics — is not so much the absence of mind as the presence of body.' In music, one listens with one's whole body, and the whole body (mind included) is affected by it. In composing or playing music, the centre of gravity from which music is born is not only the conscious mind but also the whole person. The philosophical and theological background of Western thought has left us with an uncomfortable relationship with our bodies, which may be one of the reasons why we are uneasy with strong rhythms in a faith [and clinical?] context. Our dualistic mind-frame, which favors abstract intellect over bodily sensations and lacks the tools to integrate and unify both, can feel threatened by the powerful bodily awareness provoked by certain rhythms.
—Maeve Louise Heaney [brackets added]

...and that was perhaps their greatest bond, the need for music that ran through their bodies, which at that point in their lives was no different from the need to find a way to exist in the world...
—Paul Auster, 4321

Please note: in order to optimize this program, the Scientific Meeting Committee is making two adjustments to our framework:

  1. We are pre-circulating drafts of both Dr. Goldberg's paper and Dr. Blum's discussion, attached. Dr. Blum's discussion includes musical selections, which are available in this additional online version of his text: adamblumpsyd.com/writing. We recommend that all attendees read both papers in advance; while the program is designed to provide a first exposure to the material that will be discussed, neither paper will be presented in entirety at the meeting and we believe that our group discussion will be enriched if a majority of us have read them beforehand. We also respectfully ask all recipients of these pre-circulated texts not to further circulate them or refer to their content in other publications. These drafts are for use in this program only.
  2. The meeting will start promptly at 7:30 and be extended fifteen minutes, to 9:45, in order to allow adequate time for group discussion.



Educational Objectives:
Participants will be able to
  • conceptualize an essential organizing, presentational, musical domain of psychical life.
  • conceptualize the primordial configuring -- and potentially reconfiguring -- relationship between music and the body, and the role of both in clinical theory.
  • conceptualize the ways in which music may function both to provide a means for the lived body to participate in psychical life and inter-mingle with verbal-symbolic thought, and a means by which the body may be colonized, dissociated and thus controlled by socio-economic formations.


Please feel free to submit proposals for upcoming programs.
Michael Levin, Scientific Meeting Chair

California Medical Association LogoThe San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

PHYSICIANS: The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis designates this educational activity for a maximum of 2 credits as listed for each individual program, AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education.

LCSWs/MFTs: The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is an entity recongized by the Board of Behavioral Sciences to provide Continuing Education Credits pursuant to Section 1887.4.3.

PSYCHOLOGISTS: Psychologists attending SFCP events approved for CME credits may report AMA PRA Category 1Credit(s)™ toward their CE requirements. Psychologists self-certify the number of hours they have completed on their renewal form (whether online or paper). The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

REGISTERED NURSES: The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CEP 02677) on an hour for hour basis.

SFCP is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SFCP maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Commercial Support: None

Faculty Disclosure: The following moderators and planning committee members have disclosed NO financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with commercial companies who have provided products or services, relating presentation(s) or commercial support for this continuing medical education activity: Michael Levin, PsyD, Michael Bronzo, MD, Beth Steinberg, PhD, J. Marc Wallis, LCSW, Peter Goldberg, PhD and Adam Blum, PsyD. All conflicts of interest have been resolved in accordance with the ACCME Updated Standards for Commercial Support.