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“The Global Brain and Psychoanalytic Engagement” with Ron Levin MD (SPSI Scientific Session)

May 19, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Presented by Ron Levin, MD

Read the paper here.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful reminder of ever present “survival of the fittest” pressures. These pressures, because they directly affect the functional structures and connections within the developing brain and mind—and the brain and mind are always developing—play a role in psychoanalytic treatment. The individual’s many responses to myriad threats against survival account for the sense of depth and the idiosyncratic nature of everyone’s inner world.

Curiously, psychoanalytic interventions, for the most part, remain constricted to communication based on sentience. But the brain and the mind, at their most fundamental level, function according to laws that have existed long before core components of our subjective universe—self-aware consciousness, conscious abstract thought, and symbolic communication—evolved. These laws, which govern the basic processing of sensory registrations, regulate the brain’s intrinsic activity and powerfully influence the quality of one’s experience of the external world.

If we are going to make effective use of the brain’s integrating capacity, our interventions have to attune to primitive registrations of experience, which are usually inchoate, utilize non-symbolic modes of communication, occur on time scales slower than those of waking thought, and involve idiosyncratic integrations of sensory registrations. Knowledge of the brain’s architecture and the mind’s connectivity, one focus of this presentation, can help us listen.

Ron Levin, MD is a member of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He has an interest in clinical process as informed by knowledge of the functional anatomy of the brain, the impact of evolutionary pressures on the brain’s structure, and the interface between the mind’s primitive processes and formation of our internal and external worlds. Dr. Levin is in private practice in Seattle.


Read the paper here.

Chris Keats, MD, leads a discussion of Dr. Levin’s paper: a short review of the contributions of neuroscience to our work.

Chris Keats, MD participated for many years in a neuroscience study group in Washington, DC. He is on the faculty of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and in private practice in Bellevue.

Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Better understand the relationship between the functional anatomy of the brain and clinical process
  2. Feel more comfortable with and better able to utilize their own clinical regression
  3. Develop a clear understanding of the brain’s silent processing of stimuli
  4. Understand what is unique about our “inner world”
1.5 hours Category II CME. This presentation meets the requirements of WAC 246-924-240 (Definition of Category of Creditable CPE). “This program has been approved for 1.5 CEUs by the NASW Washington State Chapter.” Licensed Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors are eligible. Provider number is #1975-144.

If you have a psychoanalytic idea that you would like to present, contact Stan Case or Ron Levin. Presenting offers the benefit of having your idea discussed and further developed.

SPSI Scientific Sessions are free to attendees, but seating may be limited.
Please RSVP to ensure a seat.

Coming Attractions:


May 19, 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


(206) 328-5315
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