Lamentation: as witness, Bionian meditation, and play
Other/Wise Uncut in 2014 continues the practice of conference-linkage with guest editors Judith E. Vida and Farrell Silverberg, co-chairs of IFPE’s 24th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference in Philadelphia, October 31 – November 2, 2013. Out of 74 presentations (and 2 films), 22 were submitted “as presented” for e-publication. Uncut in the journal name reflects IFPE’s avowed appreciation of each offering’s unique voice.
The 2013 conference theme Transience and Permanence was chosen to evoke beginnings and endings and everything in-between, not only as encountered in the consulting room but as well in art, love, life in all its forms, death, and even beyond. Transience and Permanence, opposite poles on the continuum of experience, generate a bittersweet tension which, in counterpoint, plays out in notions of love, loss, melancholy, object constancy, transference, resistance, termination, fragmentation, intersubjectivity, development, transitional object, regression, repetition, and on and on.
During the conference, the Venerable Losang Samten created a Tibetan sand painting within our meeting space, a Kalachakhra mandala (“The Wheel of Time”). We watched it take form, and when completed, we partook of its dismantling; conference and sand painting alike unfolded and evolved as a holding space, and then vanished. These 22 presentations, here in written (and in one case auditory) form, remain behind to revisit, recall, reverberate …
There will be three issues. The first, in April 2014, will feature 8 papers gathered loosely under a designation Lamentation: as witness, Bionian meditation, and play (authors Bennett, Miller, Barish, Cokuslu, Teitelbaum, Luborsky, Mandell, Gianotti). The second issue is due to appear in or around July 2014, and the final issue in October.
Judith E. Vida and Farrell Silverberg
Introduction to Issue 1:
Each of these papers resounds with a kind of lamentation. Bennett, Miller, and Barish give direct and personal witness to confrontations with mortality: the ineradicable torment of a clinical suicide, as well as the vulnerability and the helplessness unleashed by the death of necessary others. Cokuslu and Teitelbaum invoke Bion to give shape to meditations of piercing immediacy. Luborsky and Mandell offer the instrumentality of play to express the inexpressible. Gianotti describes first in theoretical and organizational terms, and then in experiential ones, the generative capacity of lamentation when practiced in community.
Individual articles in this issue:
- To Be or Not to Be: Walking on the Edge of Life and Death with a Suicidal Patient
by Phillip Bennett, PH.D.
- Mortality and Impermanence: Death and Death Talk in the Consulting Room
by Melvin E. Miller, Ph.D.
- The Edge of Space
by Samoan Barish, Ph.D.
- Perversion as Simulacra of Transience and Fluidity
by Cenk Cokuslu, LP
- No-Baby: Negation, Transience and Mourning
by Stefanie Teitelbaum, LCSW, NCPsyA
- Transience & Permanence – A View From The Doll House
by Ellen B. Luborsky, Ph.D.
- Double Catch: Writing Reverie in Motion
by Risa M. Mandell, LCSW
- Exploring New Frontiers in Psycho-Spiritual Integration
by Patricia Gianotti, Psy.D.
Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) Sand Mandala
by the Venerable Losang Samten
Photo Credit: Thomas Bugaj