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What does it mean to be a subject? Is subjectivity something guaranteed from birth or is it something which emerges with the family and language? What can go wrong and can anything be done to prevent the collapse of the subject? What are the clinical implications for the the psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, social worker or the doctor?

To discuss these questions Espace Analytique Dublin has invited Dr Alain Vanier (psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, professor and a medical doctor) and Dr Catherine Vanier (psychoanalyst and psychologist) to speak about the conditions for becoming a subject and in particular Dr Alain Vanier’s hypothesis of the supposition of the subject. Usually subjectivity is very much linked to the person’s speech. But Dr Vanier suggests that what allows this subjectivity to emerge is not our own but the words of the Other. According to Dr. Vanier ‘’before speaking, [the subject] is spoken of in outline’’. The first subjective speech emerges from the Other and as Catherine puts it ‘’The subject is in the Other’’. The space preserved for something that is not there yet plays a crucial role for the human being. Could an incubator suppose subjectivity? Could the baby, or indeed anyone survive care deprived of words? If the baby cannot become an object for the Other what is there to lose in this relation to the Other?

In this seminar Dr Alain and Dr Catherine Vanier will introduce us to this psychoanalytic theory and share how it has helped their practices. All are welcome to attend. We strongly encourage multiple disciplines and perspectives. The seminar includes a talk and time for questions and interdisciplinary discussion.