Dr Guy Millon is a counselling psychologist and is currently in training as a psychoanalyst with the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. A major interest of his is insight meditation from the Buddhist tradition. His research brings theory from psychoanalysis into the field of meditation, and looks at how meditation practices can inform the psychoanalytic clinic.
At present he works within an NHS gender identity clinic. He has written on the importance of making psychoanalysis more relevant to the trans person and advances an approach that refutes pathologising or normative ends.
He also works in private practice in Exeter.
Guy Millon
Feb 3, 2018
Trembling with the Other:
How a mindfulness practice can support, stunt and subvert empathy
Abstract
Within psychoanalysis, empathy has been constructed in very different ways since Freud’s use of the word Einfühlung to indicate the therapeutic stance necessary for coming into relationship with another mind. The British object-relations school conceptualised empathy as a form of projective identification, while Kohut, father of the American school of self psychology, theorised narcissism in terms of early experiences of empathic failure. However, for Lacan, empathy was a vicious “connivance” that threatened to sabotage the analysis. More recently, Buddhist teachings and practices introduced to the West have developed into the movement of mindfulness that has increasingly been integrated into psychological therapy - and this may be informing how therapists experience and make sense of empathy.
In this talk I will present my research which explores how mindfulness practitioners construct the process of empathy within the therapeutic relationship, analysing interview data with reference to psychoanalytic theory. I link empathy to constructs such as idealisation, narcissism, and lack to show how empathy can be used defensively to shore up a sense of self as independent and good, and yet how empathy can also comprise an encounter with something radically other. I hope that this exploration will create new opportunities to make sense of empathy and in doing so challenge the dominant discourses around what it means to empathise.
email: info 'at' limbus 'dot' org 'dot' uk
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For more informtion, contact: Farhad Dalal 0778 222 0385