Friday Nov 03, 2023

Relentlessness Of Life Instinct As The Source Of Inconsolability And Greed - Salman Akhtar

Still Life with Fruit and Wineglasses on a Silver Plate, c. 1659-1660, Willem Kalf. Courtesy Mauritshuis, The Hague.


Why do some people seem unable to achieve full satisfaction in things? What keeps them dissatisfied even after achieving their goals? And why does the Ego persist in avoiding mourning and sticking to the same solutions?

In this episode of the IPA Talks On Psychoanalysis podcast series, Salman Akhtar presents his theory that redefines the classical Kleinian conception of the rupture between Gratification and Satisfaction as a consequence of the death instinct derived attack upon the provider of gratification. This should indeed lead us to the search for a state of tranquility rather than an increase in tension. What role does the Life Instinct, instead, play in this restless search, in this excessive intense refusal to believe that further gratification shall not result in satisfaction?

This exploration not only offers a theoretical perspective but also has profound implications for clinical practice and our understanding of psychoanalytic technique.

The episode we share with you today is sourced from the wealth of content presented at the 53rd IPA Congress in Cartagena. It was a part of the "Fanning the Flames" Panel, featuring Salman Akhtar, alongside Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, Claudia Antonelli, and moderated by Fred Busch. We are delighted to announce the opportunity to watch the complete panel, along with many other outstanding presentations from the Cartagena Congress, on the website.


Salman Akhtar, MD is an internationally known psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, writer, and poet based in the United States. He has published 108 authored or edited books and given lectures and workshops in over 40 countries. Dr.Akhtar has served on the editorial boards of the three most important journals of our field, namely Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (JAPA), IJP, and The Psychoanalytic Quarterly PQ. His books have been translated in many languages and he has received numerous professional honors, including the highly prestigious Sigourney Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychoanalysis. Recently a 10-volume set of his Selected Papers was released at a festive ceremony at the Freud House& Museum in London. Dr. Akhtar has published 18 collections of poetry and serves as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Thater Company in Philadelphia.


A subtitled version of this podcast is available on our YouTube channel:


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