Psychoanalysis Unit


Anxiety, Dread and Fear

Start: Dec 01, 2017 03:00 PM
End: Dec 03, 2017 01:30 PM

Location: University College London


Depression Conf Wilkins Building Image

“Like one, that on a lonesome road/Doth walk in fear and dread,/And having once turned round walks on,/And turns no more his head;/Because he knows, a frightful fiend/ Doth close behind him tread.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Most of us are familiar with some of the problems associated with anxiety. But anxiety’s vital function is glimpsed when we think about those without a sufficient capacity to bear it: what should be sensed as a threat presents no danger, or offers an exciting risk; damage often follows - although not always. From the first, Freud felt that anxiety and fear are central to human behaviour, to our interior mental life and to our object relations, attachments and achievements. He identified the different forms of anxiety including as a response to real, sometimes archaic dangers such being killed, eaten or harmed, starved, of separation from or losing one’s mother, of physical castration by a dominant male or female, expulsion from the group, but also phantasies of these threats, leading to anxiety situations that are mostly internal. In trauma, the level of anxiety has exceeded the ego’s capacity to manage them. The individual’s relationship to its good object breaks down with severe consequences for functioning.

This year’s UCL Conference will address these and other forms of anxiety, fear and dread, and the deeper matters that seem to give rise to them. We will consider how they are best understood and responded to clinically. We will seek to identify our current accounts of anxiety and its cognate states.

Main Speakers

Rosine Jozef Perelberg | British Psychoanalytical Society

The Riddle of Anxiety

Vic Sedlak | British Psychoanalytical Society

From Dread to Anxiety

Gigliola Fornari Spoto | British Psychoanalytical Society

Anxiety and the Epistemophilic Instinct

Friday Clinical Seminar Leaders

Robin Anderson, David Bell, Donald Campbell, Peter Fonagy, Chris Mawson, Edna O' Shaughnessy, Rosine Jozef Perelberg, Irma Brenman Pick, Vic Sedlak, Gigliola Fornari Spoto, Mary Target, David Taylor, and David Tuckett

Call for Parallel Papers

On the Saturday afternoon there will be parallel paper sessions. If you want to submit a paper relevant to the Conference’s topic please contact events.psychoanalysis@ucl.ac.uk

Guidelines for Parallel Paper Submissions

  1. The deadline to submit abstracts is 12:00 (GMT), Friday 15 September 2017
  2. The abstract should be no more than one side of A4
  3. Include a short biography (approximately a paragraph) and institutional affiliation
  4. Where your paper’s subject matter indicates, if possible it should include detailed clinical material. We are aware of the anxieties relating to confidentiality so where possible, authors should bear in mind that their choice of title and the content of the abstract should contain no identifiable material or clues to patient identity. We will also review the abstract to ensure that there is no patient identifiable material. Please also bear in mind when selecting clinical material that any of the conference delegates may attend the session
  5. You will hear if your abstract has been accepted by Friday 6 October 2017
  6. Please note that presenters should have something to distribute to attendees on the day of the conference. Copies of the full paper, or fuller version of the abstract to be used as a handout, should be sent to the conference organisers by Friday 3 November 2017. Otherwise, bring enough copies of your hand-out to be distributed to your audience on the day
  7. Please note that presenters all need to submit a copy of their full paper to the conference director, David Taylor, ahead of the conference
  8. Please note that parallel paper presenters still need to register and to pay for a conference ticket
  9. The length of each parallel paper session is 90 minutes; at least 30 minutes of this is set aside for discussion with your audience

Call for Friday Clinical Seminar Presenters

At the Friday evening clinical seminars those attending can elect to present clinical cases. If you would like to present, please contact: events.psychoanalysis@ucl.ac.uk

Conference Registration

To register, please visit:

Ticket Prices

  • Friday afternoon clinical seminar rate: £45
  • Friday evening clinical seminar rate (delegates can only attend one evening seminar): £45*
  • Conference only standard rate: £160
  • Conference only candidate / part time student rate: £130
  • Conference only student rate: £55

*Please note that places for the Friday afternoon and evening clinical seminars are limited, and booking will be on a first come first served basis. Tickets for these seminars must be purchased in advance.

Further Information

A full programme will be published here in due course

For any additional queries please contact events.psychoanalysis@ucl.ac.uk