The 2020 James Grotstein Memorial Lectures: Exploring the Post-Bionian Development: Italian Field Theory and Technique

March 26 - April 16, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: All three lectures will now be held via Zoom Conferencing.

The 2020 James Grotstein Memorial Lectures in Comparative Psychoanalysis is presented in part by the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Affiliated Institutes in Los Angeles:  New Center for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Center of California

In honor of James Grotstein’s work in comparative psychoanalytic theory, there will be a set of three meetings in Los Angeles, to be held on Thursday, March 26, Saturday, April 4, and Thursday, April 16, 2020, at the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

Throughout the international community, there was no more passionate an analyst than James Grotstein in terms of his advocacy of learning from the various analytic traditions populating the analytic universe. These meetings are geared primarily towards the analytic/mental health community, so practitioners from diverse clinical backgrounds are cordially invited.

Please note the dates and times, as they vary. 


Part 1: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Pacific - Completed

An Overview of Thomas Ogden’s Post-Bionian Contributions 

Peter Goldberg, PhD

As part of its annual James Grotstein Memorial Lectures, this series honors the work of generations of analysts who have followed up on Bion’s leads in clinical psychoanalysis. Examining some of these “post-Bionian” developments, we start by exploring the contributions of Grotstein’s friend and colleague, Thomas Ogden of San Francisco. While Ogden’s ideas about Bion are important in their own right, Ogden has also served as an inspiring source to writers in another branch of the post-Bionian tree, namely the Italian field theory tradition, such as Giuseppe Civitarese and Antonino Ferro.   
In this overview presentation, Peter Goldberg gives a close and personal view of Ogden’s contributions from the vantage point of having been a student of his in San Francisco, a follower of his work, and having had a close association with him since 1980. Some of Ogden’s key conceptions will be examined, including the idea of the autistic/contiguous position; the dialectical model of psychical modes or positions; the concept of the intersubjective third; the function of reverie in the clinical encounter; and the analyst’s way of being in the analytic situation. Ogden’s highly original development of the ideas of Bion and Winnicott has been enhanced by his careful re-reading of significant analytic papers in the British Object Relations tradition. All of this has resulted in a further distillation of his ideas leading, in his most recent work, to an affirmation of the importance of a practice of psychoanalysis that is mainly “ontological” rather than “epistemological” in purpose.  
Learning Objectives
As a result of attending this session, participants should be able to:
  • Explicate the difference between Bion’s “container/contained” and Winnicott’s “holding,” especially as they pertain to the analytic situation
  • Describe the “autistic/contiguous position” and differentiate it from the Kleinian “paranoid/schizoid” and “depressive” positions
  • Differentiate between the patient’s subjective contribution and the analyst’s subjective contribution in the overall intersubjective “analytic third” of the analytic encounter

Part 2:  Saturday, April 4, 2020, 10:00 AM to Noon Pacific - Completed

An Overview of the Contemporary Theoretical and Clinical Relevance of Italian Field Theory
Joseph Aguayo, PhD
This presentation by Joseph Aguayo takes up the work of Italian field theory as exemplified in the work of Giuseppe Civitarese and Antonino Ferro, the two most well-known practitioners of this contemporary tradition. Founded primarily on the theoretical work of Wilfred Bion, Thomas Ogden and others, an overview of the basic postulates of this approach is given, specifying the ways in which its practitioners have drawn extensively from Bion’s epistemological research as an inspirational jumping off point for contemporary psychoanalytic practice. A contrast will be drawn between what differentiates the Bionian from the post-Bionian development. Clinical examples from Civitarese’s work will be given.  
In this overview presentation, some of Civitarese’s core clinical concepts will be explored, such as: immersion versus interactivity in the analytic field; Bion’s deployment of nighttime and daytime dreaming in the analytic encounter; the establishment of truth and immediacy in the analytic situation; and how field theory differs from other approaches, such as Kleinian theory.
Learning Objectives
As a result of attending this session, participants should be able to:
  • Explain the difference between immersion and interactivity in the analytic hour
  • Describe the use of daytime reverie as part of the analyst’s subjective processing capacity
  • Compare how the analyst listens in the field theory approach vis-à-vis the Kleinian approach

Part 3:  Thursday, April 16, 2020, 8:00 PM to 10 PM Pacific  

Embodied Field, Somatic Reverie, and Patients with Blocks to Symbolization

Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD, presented by Rikki Ricard, LMHC, FIPA

In this final part of our series, we will present Giuseppe Civitarese's exploration the contemporary clinical and theoretical relevance of Italian field theory. In this presentation of Civitarese's paper, he explores the role of reverie, the unconscious, and how they figure in a practical exploration of what he terms “psychosomatic integration.” He maintains that “somatic reverie” contains ideas far more useful than those found in the notion of “enactment” and its implicit understanding of transference/countertransference phenomena during the session. In all this, he seeks to extend the clinical ideas of Wilfred Bion as one of his main theoretical sources of inspiration. He discusses how field theory differs from other competing approaches—and how it can be viewed in terms of its development from Bion’s own theories and clinical work. Implications for analytic treatment will also be taken up.   

Rikki Ricard, LMHC will present and facilitate discussion of pre-selected questions answered by Dr. Civitarese. Comments will be moderated by Caron Harrang, LICSW during this live-streamed Zoom presentation.

Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this session, participants should be able to:  

  • Identify what somatic reverie looks like in the clinical situation
  • Explain how the analyst’s somatic experiences during the session can be interrelated to the patient’s subjective experience
  • Differentiate “somatic reverie” from enactment


Program Coordinators: Joseph Aguayo, PhD, Caron Harrang, LICSW, and Agnes Regeczkey, PhD.

Peter Goldberg, PhD, is a Personal and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) and the Center for Psychoanalysis in San Francisco. He is Chair of Faculty at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, and on the faculty of the Wright Institute in Berkeley. He has presented widely and published in journals such as Psychoanalytic Quarterly and the International Journal of Psychoanalysis on a range of clinical and theoretical topics, including evolution of clinical theory in psychoanalysis; sensory experience in analysis; the concept of the analytic frame; the theory and treatment of dissociative states; non-representational states; musical experience; and the impact of social trauma on individual psychology. 
Joseph Aguayo, PhD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California, a Member of the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and in private practice in West Los Angeles. He is also a Guest Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London. Forthcoming publications include Introducing the Clinical Work of W.R. Bion. Based on a series of 16 video lectures given to Chinese students of psychoanalysis, the main focus of the book is a close examination of both how Bion went about his work in the consulting room—and how he theorized his findings in a revision of the Kleinian and Freudian traditions. Recent presentations include participation on two Bion panels at the July 2019 International Psychoanalytic Congress in London. In February 2020, he presents a paper on “Bion’s approach to group dynamics” as part of the Oral History Workshop at the Winter Meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association in New York City.  
Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI), and a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) and the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). He lives, and is in private practice, in Pavia, Italy. He is the past editor of the Rivista di Psicoanalisi, the official journal of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society. He has published several books, which include: The Intimate Room: Theory and Technique of the Analytic Field; The Violence of Emotions: Bion and Post-Bionian Psychoanalysis; The Necessary Dream: New Theories and Techniques of Interpretation in Psychoanalysis; Losing Your Head: Abjection, Aesthetic Conflict and Psychoanalytic Criticism; The Analytic Field and its Transformations (with A. Ferro); Truth and the Unconscious; Sublime Subjects: Aesthetic Experience and Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis; The Bion Tradition: Lines of Development-Evolution of Theory and Practice over the Decades; Advances in Psychoanalytic Field Theory: International Field Theory Association Round Table Discussion; and An Apocryphal Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (in press). He also edited Bion and Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Reading 'A Memoire of the Future.'
Rikki Ricard, FIPA, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Seattle, WA. She is a graduate of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Prior to transitioning to her career as a therapist then psychoanalyst, over 30 years ago Rikki was a professional actress and union member of SAG, AFTRA and Equity. One notable item is that during the first year of Rikki’s analytic training in 1998, she produced and starred as Mrs. Klein in "Mrs. Klein." Accompanying the run of this show in Seattle, Joseph Aguayo traveled there to discuss Klein and her work as part of the pre- and post-play discussion.
Agnes Regeczkey, LMFT, PhD, is in private practice in Palos Verdes, California. She continues her research and training as a Clinical Associate for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. She teaches research and dissertation development and is a research coordinator at Reiss-Davis Graduate Center in Los Angeles and Antioch University in Santa Barbara. Current academic research includes a paper for the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, to be published in 2021. She presents her developing views at a panel at the APsaA February 2020 Meetings in New York. With Joseph Aguayo, she published “Small Group Collaborators and Adversaries in the London Kleinian Development,” Psychoanalytic Quarterly, July 2016. She is co-editor with Joseph Aguayo and Lia Pistiner de Cortinas of Bion in Buenos Aires: Seminars, Case Presentation and Supervision (Karnac, 2017), presented at the IPA 50th Congress in Buenos Aires in July 2015 and at the IPA 51st Congress in London in July 2019. 
Caron Harrang, LICSW, FIPA, is a board-certified IPA Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst in full-time private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is a past president of Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and current secretary of the North American Psychoanalytic Confederation (NAPsaC). She co-directed the Tenth International Evolving British Object Relations Conference in 2014, titled “From Reverie to Interpretation: Transforming Thought into the Action of Psychoanalysis,” featuring Giuseppe Civitarese as a keynote presenter. She co-edited with Dana Blue a book of the same title (Karnac, 2016). Current projects include authoring a book chapter titled “Speaking to the body in terms that the body can understand” and serving as co-editor with Drew Tillotson and Nancy Winters for the forthcoming Body as Psychoanalytic Object: Clinical Applications from Winnicott to Bion and Beyond (Routledge).


  • This is a virtual conference. There is NO in-person attendance for any of the three lectures. All will be held over Zoom Conferencing.
  • Pre-registration is required. Registration is on a first come, first served basis because of limited capacity. 
  • 6 CE credits offered (2 CE credits for each lecture)
  • Attendees must "sign" in and out at the beginning and end of the lecture to receive credit. (Instruction will be provided with the Zoom conference link & info after you register.) You will receive this information by email. Contact Tina at or Ebony at if you have questions. 
  • $225 is the flat fee for this package of three presentations. Individual tickets are $125 per event. 
  • This conference will be recorded. All registered attendees will receive a link to the recording so they may review and share. (Only live attendance receives credit.) 
  • Date & Time of events (all times Pacific Time):
    • Part 1: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 8-10 PM
    • Part 2: Saturday, April 4, 2020, 10 AM to noon 
    • Part 3: Thursday, April 16, 2020, 8-10 PM 

How to obtain lecture papers: 

Once registrants are officially enrolled, they can email Joseph Aguayo, PhD, and request a copy of the 2nd and 3rd presentations. They will be available after March 10, 2020. 



IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of these CME/CE programs have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

PHYSICIANS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for the maximum number of 6 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.  


The New Center for Psychoanalysis is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency. 

REGISTERED NURSES: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.


Event Date
Zoom - An Overview of Thomas Ogden’s Post-Bionian Contributions - Peter Goldberg, PhD March 26, 2020, 8:00 - 10:00 PM
Zoom - An Overview of the Contemporary Theoretical and Clinical Relevance of Italian Field Theory - Joseph Aguayo, PhD 10:00 AM, April 4, 2020
Zoom - Embodied Field, Somatic Reverie, and Patients with Blocks to Symbolization - Giuseppe Civitarese, MD, PhD April 16, 2020, 8:00 - 10:00 PM