OPUS: Eric Miller Memorial Lecture 2020

Given by Prof Susan Long, Freud Museum

Venue: Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

Date: Monday 6th April 2020

Time: 17:30–18:30 (reception) 18:30–20:00 (lecture)
(During the reception or after the lecture you will have the opportunity to explore the museum which includes the consulting rooms of Freud and Anna Freud)

Tickets: £35 (tickets will be on sale shortly)

“The Unconscious — the evolution of an idea”

In this lecture, Prof. Susan Long explores some of the origins of our thinking about the unconscious and how its conceptualisation has changed over time from its philosophical underpinnings, through Freud and Psychoanalysis, into understanding broad group and societal phenomena. The unconscious is a transformative idea and provides potential explanations for what seem often to be intractable personal, work and social issues. She will illustrate how some of its conceptualisations can approach these issues.

The idea of the unconscious is central to psychoanalytic and socioanalytic theories. It is an idea about processes that are elusive and can only be observed through their effects, or inferred from the gaps in our direct experience, and hence is constantly hypothetical and open to challenge; so, we may expect the idea of the unconscious to be in constant evolution. It is a thought about thoughts; an idea about ideas. It is an idea about how thoughts influence us even though we may not be aware of them. It is an idea about what we do with unwanted thoughts or thoughts that we are not ready to entertain. It is an idea about how thoughts shape and are shaped by our experience. It is an idea that responds to the question: what lies beneath consciousness? Or put another way: what prevents us from consciously thinking thoughts?

Susan will build towards the question of where new conceptualisations such as those within neuro-science, biosemiotics, social dreaming and the associative unconscious stray from the formulations of Freud and where they extend the potential within psychoanalysis and its earlier underpinnings.

Susan Long is an eminent Melbourne based organisational consultant and executive coach. Previously Professor of Creative and Sustainable Organisation at RMIT University, she is now Director of Research and Scholarship at the National Institute for Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA). She is an associate of the University of Melbourne Executive Programs and teaches at INSEAD in Singapore and the University of Divinity in Melbourne.

Susan works internationally with executives from many different countries, different sectors and with professionals from diverse industries in her role as either teacher, consultant, supervisor or coach. She has over 35 years of experience with Group Relations, having directed many conferences.
Susan has also held several leadership positions in various professional organisations: past president of ISPSO (the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations), Inaugural President of Group Relations Australia, and President of the Gordon Lawrence Foundation
She has published ten books and many articles in books and scholarly journals, is General Editor of the journal Socioanalysis and Associate Editor with Organisational and Social Dynamics. She is a member of the Advisory Board for Mental Health at Work with Comcare and a past member of the Board of the Judicial College of Victoria (2011–2016)