A Day with Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD

“Hallucinosis, Dreaming and Play: The Analytic Field and Its Transformations”

Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017
Time: 09:00am - 03:00pm
Presenter: Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD
Discussant: Lee Rather, PhD
Faculty Member, SFCP and PINC,
Personal and Supervising Analyst, PINC
In Conversation With: Rachael Peltz, PhD
Training and Supervising Analyst & Faculty Member, PINC
Supervising Analyst, Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis

and Peter Goldberg, PhD
Co-Chair of the Faculty Committee, SFCP
Personal and Supervising Analyst & Faculty Member, PINC
Location: San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
444 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Program Fee: $ 170.00  General
$ 155.00  Members and Community Members of SFCP
$ 130.00  SFCP Candidates
$ 75.00  Full time students

* An additional $ 10.00 for on-site registration
* No refunds for cancellation
CME/CE: 4.5 CME/CE Credits available for an additional:
$ 54.00  non-SFCP Members
$ 45.00  SFCP Members
To Register: Pre-registration is closed.  Please register on-site.

"Hallucinosis, Dreaming and Play: The Analytic Field and Its Transformations”

Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD will discuss the concepts of transformation, the analytic field with its shared unconscious, and the dream of the session, using lively clinical material to illustrate his thinking.  He draws upon the ideas of Bion with an emphasis on the role of emotions, the concept of “O” and the mind’s growth as a therapeutic aim.

Dr. Civitarese has established himself as an important writer, theorist and clinician working in the analytic field model of psychoanalysis.  This is a model of two psyches reverberating together in an unconscious exchange, allowing for reveries and generating meanings through the narratives created within the psychoanalytic frame. Civitarese’s writing incorporates the metaphors of theatre and film, characters and actors, texts and story lines, offering a distinct perspective on analytic work.  He makes use of these concepts to understand the process and the patient’s internal life as it comes into contact with the constantly generated analytic field.  For Civitarese, the here and now of the emotions of the session are of primary importance. In The Violence of Emotions, he writes: “The interplay of points of view become important insofar as the fulcrum of therapeutic action is seen not so much as in the translation from unconscious to conscious as in the emotional tuning that provides the ego with its setting….[W]hat is important is putting ourselves on the same wavelength…” (p. 81).  All of this is evident in his work with his patients which is sensitively and vividly described in his case vignettes.

He also locates himself in the flow of psychoanalytic theory and metapsychology as he formulates and elaborates Freud, re-considering such ideas as Nachtriglichkeit, the theory of seduction, the bodily ego and, most importantly, dreaming.  Closely aligned with Bion, Civitarese views helping the patient to develop the capacity to think about/dream his or her emotional experience as the fundamental therapeutic aim. Expanding upon the ideas of Ferro, whose work is seminal in psychoanalytic field theory, Civitarese advocates for the unsaturated interpretation and the need for working within the characters of the narrative as well as with the transference. The dream work generated out of the session itself serves as an important vertex for understanding the patient and the field.

In his latest book, Truth and the Unconscious in Psychoanalysis, Civitarese discusses Bion’s idea of truth as the food that leads to mental growth, emphasizing that “what moves humans is a real drive for truth.” He asks, “[W]hat are the truths of the unconscious? How can we grasp them? …And what unconscious are we talking about? Freud’s repressed unconscious or Bion’s aesthetic unconscious? And lastly, what does psychoanalysis have to say about the concept of scientific truth?” (p. 1.)

Dr. Civitarese has a breadth and depth to his thinking as evidenced in his interaction with different analytic thinkers; and sometimes, philosophers, in his writing. He beautifully explores and elaborates Meltzer and the notion of aesthetics as part of the analytic process.  He explicates Bleger, and his ideas of symbiosis and the psychotic nucleus of the personality.  He cites the work of Ogden, writes of Nietzsche’s views of emotion, and Derrida’s thinking on the mystic writing pad. Through the expansiveness of his work, Dr. Civitarese offers us a rich experience of the field of psychoanalysis in all its dimensions.

Dr. Civitarese has studied both psychiatry and relational sciences, and he is a training and supervising analyst in the Italian Psychoanalytic Society. He has published numerous papers and authored a number of books, including: The Intimate Room (2010),The Violence of Emotions (2013), The Necessary Dream: New Theories and Techniques of Interpretation in Psychoanalysis (2014), and, most recently, Truth and the Unconscious in Psychoanalysis (2016).  He practices in Pavia, Italy.  Dr. Civitarese will present his paper: “Hallucinosis, dreaming and play: The Analytic Field and Its Transformations.”

Lee Rather, PhD, will discuss the paper. Lee Rather is a Faculty Member at SFCP and PINC, and Personal and Supervising Analyst, PINC.

In the afternoon, Rachael Peltz, PhD and Peter Goldberg, PhD will be in conversation with Dr. Civitarese. Rachael Peltz is a Training and Supervising Analyst and Faculty Member at PINC, and a Supervising Analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis. Peter Goldberg is Co-Chair of the Faculty Committee at SFCP, and a Faculty Member at PINC, and Personal and Supervising Analyst at PINC.


Educational Objectives:
Participants will be able to
  • describe the concept of transformation and how it applies to clinical work in the analytic field model.
  • explain the technical implications for viewing the session as a dream and how it allows for understanding deeper unconscious emotion and meanings.
  • discuss the therapeutic aim of analytic work through the theory of Bion and the analytic field including the idea of developing a psychic container.
  • describe the importance of understanding the here and now of the emotional experience of the analytic session in working with a patient.
Beth Steinberg, PhD
Chair, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Education Division
Catherine Mallouh, MD
Chair, "A Day With" Program, SFCP
Paper presented by Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD
10:40am - 10:50am TEN MINUTE BREAK
10:50am - 11:40am DISCUSSION OF PAPER
Lee Rather, PhD
12:00pm - 01:00pm CATERED LUNCH


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 4.5 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: Catherine Mallouh, MD, Patricia Marra, MFT, Lee Rather, PhD, Peter Goldberg, PhD, Rachael Peltz, PhD and Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD. All conflicts of interest have been resolved in accordance with the ACCME Updated Standards for Commercial Support.