Meaning Making: Dr. Edward Tronick
2019-11-02 2019-11-02 Meaning Making: Dr. Edward Tronick America/New_York

Organization: Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis
CME Accreditation: CPA, 4 credits

Dr. Tronick states that psychotherapy is about changing the meaning people make about themselves in the world and meaning, and that private meaning is at the core of a variety of approaches to therapy. However, we typically have misconstrued the nature of meaning and the processes making meaning in deep ways that limit our understanding of how humans function. Based on Dr. Tronick’s research on infant development and how infants and young children make meaning of themselves in the world, he will discuss meaning making as a neurosomatic biopsychological process in which different systems make different kinds of meaning. Dr. Tronick argues that the meaning made by infants and adults is made up of multiple forms of meaning, which are at best messily put together into a more or less coherent sense of themselves – what he calls a state of consciousness. Moreover, that a primary way that meanings get made or changed is when individuals – parents and children or analyst and analysand – bring together their individual states of consciousness to form dyadic states of consciousness. Dr. Tronick’s argument relates to the work of Modell on the private self and the critical nature of meaning. This presentation will be illustrated using video tapes of infants engaging with objects and people, including the still-face in young infants and toddlers, and recent studies of stress and memory.


The Neurosomatic Making of Meaning without Words or Symbols

Afternoon Session:

The Dynamics of Meaning Making

Learning Objectives

1.To understand how infants are makers of meaning about themselves in relation to the world in typical and pathological settings.

2.To identify different levels of processes - emotions and physiology – that make meaning for the infant and child.

3.To understand how multiple meaning levels suggest changes in conceptualizations of transference and state of the patient and therapist.

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