21 marzo 2013 BASEL Preconference: The forum for the psychoanalysis of children





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Dear Colleagues,

The Forum for the Psychoanalysis of Children at the EPF is again organising clinical workshops based on the Weaving Thoughts Method. These will take place during the Pre-conference on Thursday 21st March 2013. This mail is for those who have previously taken part in these workshops as well as for any colleagues who may be interested in experimenting with this method of free group association for the first time. The Weaving Thoughts Method continues to provide the setting for the work of our child psychoanalysis pre-conference groups.

We should like to highlight how closely the Weaving Thoughts Method is linked to this year’s conference theme of Formlessness: deformation, transformation. The organising committee’s invitation to the 26th EPF Congress comments on its chosen topic as follows: “The analytical situation is both a to-and-fro movement between formlessness and form and a return to a different kind of formlessness. Just when the formlessness takes on some form, when it is named, it moves on immediately towards something else”. The Weaving Thoughts Method offers a setting which facilitates just this kind of movement in a group working on clinical material together, while simultaneously providing an opportunity for reflection on such constant form shifting.

Building on modifications introduced during last year’s Congress in Paris and with this year’s theme in mind, the EPF child analysis committee (*) has put further thought into the format of these pre-conference groups.The organisers of the Forum for the Psychoanalysis of Children met in July of last year to review the Paris pre-conference. In this task we were assisted greatly by all the observations and suggestions we received from you, both during last year’s conference and after, for which we are very grateful.  Based on these, we would like to trial with you another change to the format of the pre-conference groups in Basel:

In the morning, we will concentrate as usual on material from two analytic sessions using the Weaving Thoughts Method.

In the afternoon, the analyst who presented case material in the morning will share with the group thoughts and associations which were provoked in him/her by the morning’s discussions. It is hoped that this will both allow to happen and make visible another ‘to and fro movement between formlessness and form…’, between the group process and the presenter and between the manifest material of the sessions and the associations produced in both group and presenter, altogether leading to a deepening of insight.

Finally, a third session from the same patient will be made available to the group for another round of weaving thoughts. 

We are looking for presenters in German, French, English or Italian.

If you would like to present, please contact:

Jean-Louis Fouassier : jean-louis.fouassier@wanadoo.fr , or DanielleGoldstein : danielle.k.goldstein@gmail.com


This year, depending on the final list participants, we plan to organize the following groups:

  • English speaking group:       1
  • German speaking group:      1
  • French speaking group:       1
  • Italian speaking group:        1

We will e-mail you further information about the time table for the workshops and the other activities of the Forum for the Psychoanalysis of Children as they are finalised in the run-up to the Basel Congress.
For any further queries, please contact Jean-Louis Fouassier or Danielle Goldstein.

By email:   jean-louis.fouassier@wanadoo.fr


By phone in French, English and Spanish:      00 33 1 43 46 17 77

00 33 6 19 83 17 78

(*) The 12 Members of The EPF Child analysis committee are :

Name adresse mail Country
BARTH Daniel daniel@barth.net Swistzerland
BOGLIATTO Katy katy.bogliatto2@scarlet.be Belgium
FIESCHI Elena EFIESCHI@terra.es Spain
FOUASSIER Jean-Louis Jean-louis.fouassier@wanadoo.fr France
GOLDSTEIN Danielle danielle.k.goldstein@gmail.com France
GRIMALT Antonia 8331age@comb.es Spain
HAAS Noa haasnoa3@gmail.com Israel
MAESTRO Sandra,  Chair sandra.maestro@inpe.unipi.it Italia
MASTELLA Marco mastellamarco@libero.it Italia
SCHUMACHER Beate b_schumacher@o2.co.uk U.K.
STAEHLE Angelika a.staehle@t-online.de Germany
WENKREICH Carmen, Co-chair wenkreich@aol.com Germany

If yiu want some more details about  EPF  Forum for the Psychoanalysis of Children in your own language you may contact any of us What is the Weaving Thoughts Method ?

Clinical discussion according to the Weaving Thoughts Method requires the presentation of two consecutive sessions from the analysis of a child or an adolescent. This year we will introduce a third session.The presenter makes no introduction apart from giving the patient’s sex and age, length of treatment and session frequency and the days of the week on which the presented sessions took place.Each session should be written up separately in the language of the pre-conference group, and there should be enough typed copies for each of the 10 – 15 members of the group; exact numbers will be available nearer the time. The presenter may find it helpful to also bring a copy of the text in its original language, should this be different. At the beginning of the meeting, the presenter reads the text of the first session, and then he/she remains silent while the members of the group are invited to freely associate to the material of the session for forty-five minutes.

Following a break, the same procedure is followed for the second session.

Using group work in this way, the Weaving Thoughts Method leads to an enlarged network of associations which is available to all of the participants.

Each group has a moderator, whose focus is on ensuring the group’s functioning, with members taking turns to speak as freely as possible without getting into debates or exclusive 1:1 exchange, which helps to contain the anxiety – and the pressure to act out – that is inevitably produced by unconscious dynamics. The moderator refrains from giving expression to his/ her own associations.

At the end of each meeting, the moderator invites the presenter  to briefly share with the group the impact it may have had on his thoughts, but without giving further information about the patient so that members can leave the group and continue to weave thoughts on their own.

Finally, the moderator may make some comments about his experience of the group.

A brief explanation of the method is usually given to all participants of the Child Analysis pre-conference groups at the beginning of the day.

We will close the day with a briefing session to collect the views, impressions and experiences from participants, presenters and moderators.

Further information about the method

A more detailed description of the Weaving thoughts method can be found in:

Norman†, J., Salomonsson, B. (2005). ‘Weaving Thoughts’: A method for presenting and commenting analytic case material in a peer group. Int. J.  Psycho-Anal., 86:1281-1289

You can also find the article on the EPF website, by clicking on the link to the Forum for the Psychoanalysis of Children.

It has been translated into French (Le tissage des pensées, Une méthode pour présenter et commenter un matériel clinique Psychanalytique dans un groupe de pairs. Lannée psychoanalytique internationale (2006). Éditions IN PRESS, Paris, France), German (Gedanken miteinander verweben. Eine Methode für psychoanalytische Fallvorstellungen und Diskussionen in Intervisiongruppen (peer groups). In: Gabriele Junkers (Hrsg., 2006). Verkehrte Liebe. Berlin: Edition Diskord) and  Catalan (Teixit de pensaments. Un mètode per a presentar i comentar material psicoanalític en un grup diguals. Revista Catalana de Psicoanàlisi (2006), 23: 1-2:53-72). If you are taking part in the workshop for the first time, it would be very helpful to read it beforehand, even if you are not going to present or moderate.

We will e-mail you further information about the time table for the workshops and the other activities of the Forum for the Psychoanalysis of Children as they are finalised in the run-up to the Basel Congres.

Looking forward to meet you in Basel,

With our best wishes.

The Forum for Psychoanalysis for Children