SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR PSYCHOANALYSIS
VISITING PROFESSOR WEEK 2013 with CLAUDIO LAKS EIZIRIK, MD
November 10th through November 17th
Claudio Laks Eizirik is a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Porto Alegre Psychoanalytic Society and the Brazilian Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Eizirik has made contributions to the technique and practice of psychoanalysis in three main areas: understanding the experience of the countertransference, elaborating the concept of the analytic field, and re-conceiving psycho-analytic neutrality.
His published writings focus on psychoanalytic supervision, on aspects of clinical process such as listening, conceiving and organizing interventions, and on the validity and outcome of psychoanalytic treatments. His writings also explore the need to adapt psychoanalytic institutions, practices and theories to create openings to new groups and emerging cultures in the globalizing 21st Century. Another related theme is bringing a democratic process to the psychoanalysis both in practice and within psychoanalytic organizations.
Dr. Eizirik identifies many influences contributing to his formation as an analyst. Two groups in particular: Betty Joseph and the contemporary London Kleinians and the field theorists, notably followers of the Barangers, are the most clinically alive for him. He notes that Bion’s work is a common root among these seemingly divergent thinkers.
Dr. Eizirik also identifies many fiction writers and poets as especially important influences. He counts the Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade, the Argentinian writer J.L. Borges, and the American novelist Philip Roth among his favorites. Reading their work facilitates reverie, the transformation of disturbing experience into nameable thoughts and feelings.
Dr. Eizirik has spent his life in Porto Alegre, the southernmost of large Brazilian cities, which lies mid-way between the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, and the Brazilian capital of Sao Paolo. The proximity of Buenos Aires has led to ongoing personal supervisions, analyses, and theoretical conversations with Argentinian psychoanalysts. Among those most important to him are Enrique Pichon-Rivière, Angel Garma, Heinz Racker, Willy and Madeleine Baranger, Jorge Mom, José Bleger, and Isidoro Berenstein.
Dr. Eizirik credits a culture of openness in southern Brazil as especially important to his development. He says that in Brazil “we dance with anybody, play soccer with any one, mix with and marry with everyone. We descend from a mix of peoples: immigrant Europeans, Asians and native Brazilians, and we embrace everyone. We do analysis in like fashion, that is in every possible way: with families and couples and individually, with every possible level of patient and, perhaps most importantly, with the community.”
Dr. Eizirk’s has dedicated himself to teaching psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy to young, emerging members of our community. Taking this dedication to the classroom, he has written two textbooks on psychodynamic psychotherapy and human development. Both are used throughout Brazil, Portugal and other Lusophone countries. He has also held numerous positions of leadership, including both the presidency and vice-presidency of the International Psychoanalytic Association and the presidency of the Latin American Federation of Psychoanalysts (FEPAL).