The Embodied Social Self Towards A Psychodynamic Neuroscience | 11/4/2017


Register now: $135.00  |  Students with ID: $100.00
 Day of workshop: $145.00
Registration includes lunch and coffee during breaks

($80.00 each for 4 events |  $105.00 each for 3 events)

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SKU: 17-1104/Fotopoulou Category:


A Workshop with:

Katarina Fotopoulou, Ph.D.

University College London

Saturday, November 4, 2017
9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
6 CME/CE Credits
In this workshop based on her extensive research at the intersection of psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, and neuroscience, Dr. Fotopoulou will explore how even the most minimal aspects of selfhood – the feeling qualities associated with being an embodied subject – are fundamentally shaped by embodied interactions with other people in early infancy and beyond.  Dr. Fotopoulou’s work is fascinating not only for its groundbreaking research into the links between body, mind, and the social world, but for its exciting clinical applications.   Join us for a stimulating and cross-disciplinary workshop on the neuroscience of the self and the body.
Please check out Katarina Fotopoulou on YouTube speaking to the World Economic Forum on “The Embodied Self” and its implications for social policy and treatment of dementia, eating disorders, and other somatic issues.


Embodied Mentalisation: Grounding Socialisation to the Body
A. Fotopoulou
In this workshop, we will examine the development and maintenance of the psychological self in relation to two central influences: embodiment and sociality. The question of whether our mental life is initially and primarily shaped by embodied dimensions of the singular individual or, interpersonal relations is debated in many fields, including psychology, philosophy, psychoanalysis and more recently cognitive neuroscience. Given recent scientific insights, I will put forward the radical claim that even some of the most minimal aspects of selfhood, namely the feeling qualities associated with being an embodied subject, are fundamentally shaped by embodied interactions with other people in early infancy and beyond, because such embodied interactions allow the developing organism to mentalize its homeostasis. Such experiences of proximal intercorporeality ‘sculpture’ the ‘mentalisation’ process by which we come to understand ourselves and others. Hence, embodied, social interactions contribute to the constitution of the minimal self, including the progressive sophistication of mental distinctions between ‘subject-object’, ‘self-other’ and even ‘pleasure-pain’. On the epistemological level, I will claim that while the insights generated by such interdisciplinary considerations and relevant research will always be limited in respect to the scope of the fields that inspired it, they are nevertheless well worth the effort and risks involved, due to the intrinsically multifaceted nature of the mind and the ‘duality’ self as subject and as object of our consciousness.
Aikaterini (Katerina) Fotopoulou, PhD, studied cognitive neuropsychology and theoretical psychoanalysis at UCL before completing her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Durham, UK. She is currently an Associate Professor (Reader) at the Psychoanalysis Unit, Psychology and Language Sciences Division, University College London. There she researches how bodily feelings like pain and skin pleasure, as well as multimodal representations of the body, are influenced by interpersonal exchanges and expectations, as well as by neuropeptides known to enhance social feelings. These studies point to unique neural mechanisms by which our bodies are interpersonally ‘mentalised’ and perceived to form the basis of our selves. Katerina is the Founder of the International Association for the Study of Affective Touch (IASAT) and the Secretary of International Neuropsychoanalysis Society; she runs the London Neuropsychoanalysis Group on: ‘Psychodynamic Neuroscience and Neuropsychology‘. She has published widely in psychology and neuroscience journals and is the editor of the volume: Fotopoulou, A. Conway, M.A. Pfaff, D. From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Psychodynamic Neuroscience. Oxford University Press, 2012.


Key Readings:
Fotopoulou, A., Tsakiris, M. Mentalising Homeostasis: The Social Origins of Interoceptive Inference. Neuropsychoanalysis, 2017 Open Access and Including Response to Psychoanalytic Commentaries.
Ciaunica, A., Fotopoulou, A. The Touched Self: Psychological and Philosophical Perspectives on Proximal Intersubjectivity and the Self. In Durt, Fucks & Tewes (Eds.), Embodiment, Enaction and Culture. MIT Press.
Gentsch, A., Crucianelli, L., Jenkinson, P., Fotopoulou, A. The Touched Self: Affective Touch and Body Awareness in Health and Disease. In H. Olausson et al (Eds.), Affective Touch and the Neurophysiology of CT Afferents. Springer.
Fotopoulou, A. (2012). The History and Progress of Neuropsychoanalysis. In From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Psychodynamic Neuroscience. Fotopoulou, Pfaff & Conway (eds). Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Fotopoulou, A. (2012). Towards a Psychodynamic Neuroscience. In From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Psychodynamic Neuroscience. Fotopoulou, Pfaff & Conway (eds). OUP.

Yovell Y, Solms M, Fotopoulou A. The case for neuropsychoanalysis: Why a dialogue with neuroscience is necessary but not sufficient for psychoanalysis. Int J Psychoanal. 2015 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/1745-8315.12332. [Epub ahead of print]

Further Research Article Reading for Interest:
Leonhard Schilbach, Bert Timmermans, Vasudevi Reddy, Alan Costall, Gary Bente, Tobias Schlicht and Kai Vogeley (2013). Toward a second-person neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36, pp 393-414. doi:10.1017/S0140525X12000660. See also commentaries
Decety J and Fotopoulou A (2014). Why empathy has a beneficial impact on others in medicine: Unifying theories. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 8:457. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00457
Krahé, C., Drabek, M., Paloyelis, Y., & Fotopoulou, A. (in press). Affective touch and attachment style modulate pain: A laser-evoked potentials study. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. (pdf).
Crucianelli, L., Cardi, V., Treasure, J., Jenkinson, P. M., & Fotopoulou, A. (2016). The perception of affective touch in anorexia nervosa. Psychiatry Research, 239, 72-78. (link).
Besharati, S., Forkel, S.J., Kopelman, M., Solms, M., Jenkinson, P. M., Fotopoulou, A. (2016). Mentalising the Body: Spatial and Social Cognition in Anosognosia for Hemiplegia, Brain. (link).
Ricciardi, L., Demartini, B., Crucianelli, L., Krahé, C., Edwards, M. J., & Fotopoulou, A. (2016). Interoceptive awareness in patients with functional neurological symptoms. Biological Psychology, 113, 68-74. (pdf).
Gentsch, A., Panagiotopoulou, E., & Fotopoulou, A. (2015). Active Interpersonal Touch Gives Rise to the Social Softness Illusion. Current Biology25(18), 2392-2397. (link).
Krahé, C., Paloyelis, Y., Condon, H., Jenkinson, P. M., Williams, S. C. R., & Fotopoulou, A. (2015). Attachment style moderates partner presence effects on pain: A laser-evoked potentials study. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1030-1037.
From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Psychodynamic Neuroscience. Fotopoulou, Pfaff & Conway (eds). Oxford University Press, March 2012.
Solms, M., Turnbull, O. (2002). The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience. New York

Kaplan-Solms, K. & Solms, M. (2000). Clinical studies in neuropsychoanalysis: Introduction to a depth neuropsychology. London: Karnac Books.


9:00 to 10:30    Epistemological Foundations of the Dialogue between
Psychoanalysis, Phenomenology and Neuroscience
10:30 to 10:45  Break
10:45 to 13:00  Embodied Minds and the Self
13:00 to 14:00  Lunch
14:00 to 15:30  Mentalized Bodies and Intersubjectivity
15:30 to 16:00  Group Reflections and Discussions
Program Committee
Chair: Thomas P. Helscher, Ph.D.
Claudia Eskenazi, Ph.D.
Jo Ann McKarus, Psy.D.
Sandra Wilder-Padilla, Ph.D.
David Hayes, MFT
Target Audience
This program meets the needs of all mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists.
Goals & Objectives
Upon completion of the program participants should be able to:
  1. Understand the role of early maternal care in patients’ experience of their body.
  2. Use aspects of the analytic setting and the analytic relationship to help patients manage their anxiety and negative body image.
  3. Give patients tools for mentalizing their homeostasis in order to reduce anxiety, gain a sense of self-worth and improve emotional connections.


“The Embodied Social Self Towards A Psychodynamic Neuroscience”
6 CME/CE Credits
Early registration $135
Day of workshop $145
Students with ID $100
For further information please call the LAISPS office:


Important Disclosure: None of the planners or presenters of this CME/CE program has any relevant financial relationship to disclose.

Accreditation and Credit Designation Statement

Accreditation Statement: LAISPS is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical
edu cation for physicians. LAISPS takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Physicians: LAISPS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should only claim credit
commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certificate in Continuing Medical
Psychologists: LAISPS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. LAISPS
maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists: LAISPS is approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences to grant continuing education
credit to those holding LCSW and MFT licenses. (Provider #PCE311) This activity is designated for 3 credit hours.

Please Note:

  • Participants must complete an online evaluation within 2 weeks of completing this CE/CME activity in order to receive credit.
  • According to APA guidelines, CE credit can only be awarded to psychologists for full attendance

Additional information