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SIP’s 31st Annual Public Lecture with guest speaker Anne Alvarez

15 October 2022 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The problem of Empty States: Working with a particular form of Unreachability in some Autistic and some Neglected people


  • When: Saturday 15th October 2022
  • Where: The Watershed (1 Canon’s Road, Bristol BS1 5TX)
  • Tickets: £10 – £35 (incudes refreshments)


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About the lecture

Classical psychoanalysis has taught us much about the passions. Less explored are the passionless, often mindless, and empty states which certain passive patients present to us. These may in some instances be the result not of a defensive or aggressive retreat but of having given up in despair or boredom. Such patients seem to be not hiding, but lost, not withdrawn but undrawn. Their internal objects seem to be unvalued rather than devalued and nothing much matters. This may affect curiosity and desire, even the desire to follow a train of thought. This lecture discusses what might be missing or underdeveloped and ways in which analytic technique may try to address these issues.


About the speaker

Anne Alvarez, PhD, M.A.C.P is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (and retired Co-Convener of the Autism Service, Child and Family Department, Tavistock Clinic, London, where she still teaches.). She is author of Live Company: Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived and Abused Children and has edited with Susan Reid Autism and Personality: Findings from the Tavistock Autism Workshop. A book in her honour, edited by Judith Edwards, entitled Being Alive: Building on the Work of Anne Alvarez was published in 2002. She was Visiting Professor at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Society in November 2005 and is an Honorary Member of the Psychoanalytic Centre of California. Her latest book, The Thinking Heart: Three Levels of Psychoanalytic Therapy with Disturbed Children was published in April 2012 by Routledge.


15 October 2022
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Category:


The Watershed
1 Canon's Road
Bristol, BS1 5TX United Kingdom
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