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“Mind to Mind: Clinical Encounters with the Uncanny”

  • PPSC 80 5th Avenue 14th floor New York, NY, 10011 United States (map)

This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs & LCSWs. Lecture will led by Janine de Peyer, LCSW.

Is telepathic interconnectivity possible?  Can two minds share the same thoughts without physical or material interaction? When therapist and patient uncannily “know” things about one another, is it coincidental or some form of anomalous transmission? Re-engaging Freud’s original interest in telepathy, de Peyer explores a series of seemingly uncanny clinical exchanges through the comparative lenses of relational psychoanalysis, neuroscience, quantum “entanglement,” and parapsychology.

Beginning with a “slip of the tongue” that ushers-in otherwise unknowable information about her patient, de Peyer describes an unfolding sequence of uncanny, dyadic interactions. Current psychoanalytic interest in the bi-personal unconscious field, the exchange of mirror neurons, intergenerational transmission of trauma, and the “porousness” of mind, raises important questions about certain forms of unconscious attunement (like telepathic dreams) that transcend recognized temporality and material physiology, and extend beyond the realm of sensory cues.
When “uncanny” or “exceptional” clinical experiences occur, both therapist’s and patient’s belief systems become activated. Are such experiences to be ignored? Dismissed? Noted silently? Or discussed with neutrality, enthusiasm or skepticism? Does the patient feel pathologized? Or alternatively, might patient and therapist become lost in fantasies of romanticized psychic union? Any extreme reaction on the part of the therapist runs the risk of rail-roading the patient’s experience and obscuring important transference/countertransference dynamics. In de Peyer’s clinical case study, she and her patient internalize, then eventually openly discuss the intimacy of their uncanny exchanges with both positive and negative results. While inspiring feelings of closeness, uncanny exchanges might also trigger fears of boundary-loss and vulnerability to invasion. Discussion will include audience participation, and dissenting views on the “uncanny” will be welcomed.

Janine de Peyer, LCSW-R is Faculty and Supervisor at the National Institute for the Psycho-therapies, and the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies where she teaches on clinical process and transference-countertransference dynamics. She is Associate Editor and is published with Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives. Her recent articles include Sequestered Selves: Discussion of An Adoption Roundtable in Psychoanalytic Perspectives (2013) exploring dissociative processes in adoptive families, and Telepathic Entanglements: Where Are We Now?, a discussion of Massicotte’s article on Freud and telepa-thy in Psychoanalytic Dialogues (2014). Janine’s latest article, Uncanny Communication and the Porous Mind, (in press, Psychoanalytic Dialogues) discusses anomalous transmission between patient and analyst. Janine is trained in EMDR, which she integrates along with Energy Psychology, breath work, and guided imagery within a relational psychoanalytic framework. Janine grew up in London, has traveled extensively, and is in private practice in Manhattan.