The Psychoanalytic Center of California
is pleased to present
The 4th Annual Wilfred Bion Conference
Saturday, May 3, 2014 
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Ways of Psychic Functioning, Ways of Psychic Change

Dr. Rudi Vermote
Belgium Society of Psychoanalysis

PCC is very pleased to welcome Dr. Rudi Vermote as the featured speaker for our 4th Annual Wilfred Bion Conference. In this conference, we will explore Bion's views of transformational change in psychoanalysis, tracing his early work in London to his later work in Los Angeles.
Dr. Rudi Vermote
Rudi Vermote, MD, PhD is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the Belgium Society of Psychoanalysis, where he recently served as President. He is the author of many scholarly papers about the work of Wilfred Bion, and lectures throughout the world on psychoanalytic theory and practice. His book, Reading Bion (2014), is forthcoming from the New Library of Psychoanalysis.

In addition to his psychoanalytic practice, Dr. Vermote is head of the Psychotherapy Unit for Personality Disorders (KLIPP) at the University Psychiatric Centre Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortenberg. He has been actively involved in research projects involving the link between process and clinical outcome in psychotherapy as well as clinical research on the different facets of mentalization in personality disorders.
Program Description

Most colleagues will no doubt agree that Bion's theory of thinking has become an integral part of psychoanalytic theory today, shifting the focus from the content of unconscious manifestations to their actual psychic processing. His early model opened new treatment perspectives, especially in the treatment of severe pathology. However, Bion's later work, with its focus on 'O' and its recommendation of a clinical attitude of 'no memory, no desire, no coherence, no understanding' has evoked many mixed reactions, ranging from criticisms of the theory for its foolishness to an almost religious zeal for its profound insight.


In the morning session, Dr. Vermote will explore the shift in Bion's work from his early period in London to his late period in Los Angeles, highlighting a change in clinical emphasis from transformations in knowledge while working in the differentiated zone of psychic functioning, T(K), to transformations in O while working in the undifferentiated zone of psychic functioning, T(O). Using clinical material, he will show how transformations in O might reveal themselves in actual analytic sessions and the ensuing qualitative shifts both in the treatment atmosphere and in the patient's long-term psychic functioning. With this approach, it becomes possible to use, in combination, two models that are outlined in the 'early' and the 'late' Bion to produce a dual track model of psychic change.


In the afternoon panel, Drs. Vermote, Aguayo, and Malin will further explore Bion's later work in Los Angeles with an eye for clinical application. Excerpts from audiotapes of Bion's 1967 lectures and supervisions in Los Angeles will be used to demonstrate Bion's developing views on treatment, particularly as they relate to the analytic attitude of 'no memory, no desire.' We hope that these live encounters with Bion himself, as well as the conference panel, will serve as a stimulating springboard for the afternoon discussion.

Program Schedule
8:30 am  Registration and continental breakfast
9:00 am
  Welcome and introduction: Dr. Jennifer Kunst
9:15 am
  Ways of Psychic Functioning, Ways of Psychic
Dr. Rudi Vermote
10:15 am  Coffee break
10:30 am  Audience discussion
12:00 pm  Lunch break
1:30 pm   On the Value of Late Bion for Clinical Work:
Panel featuring Drs. Rudi Vermote, Joseph Aguayo, and Barnet Malin                  
3:00 pm  Audience discussion 
4:15 pm  Closing remarks and adjournment
4:30 pm  Book signing: Joseph Aguayo and Barnet Malin

Joseph Aguayo, Ph.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California in full-time private practice in West Los Angeles. Awarded a number of research fellowships from the IPA's Research Advisory Board, he has merged his clinical and research interests by numerous publications in the history of Kleinian and Bionian psychoanalysis. Today's paper, Bion's Notes on Memory and Desire, is based on archival materials and will also be presented at both the British and Barcelona Psychoanalytical Societies next month. With Barnet Malin, Dr. Aguayo co-edited the book, Wilfred Bion: Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision (Karnac, 2013), which is available for sale and signing at today's conference.


Barnet D. Malin, M.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California and the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and practices psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Santa Monica. He is currently the President of the PCC and an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA-NPI Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Malin has authored several papers on topics including shame, envy, and rage, Kohut and Lacan, and others. With Joseph Aguayo, he co-edited the book, Wilfred Bion: Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision (Karnac, 2013), which is available for sale and signing at today's conference.

Jennifer Kunst, Ph.D. is a Senior Faculty Member at the Psychoanalytic Center of California, a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, and practices psychoanalysis in Pasadena. She is currently Chair of the Continuing Education Committee at the PCC and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. Her book, Wisdom from the Couch, is an effort to bring psychoanalysis to a general audience and is scheduled for release in June 2014 by Central Recovery Press.


Psychoanalytic Center of California
  • A non-profit organization since 1984
  • Training Institute established in 1987
  • A Component of the International Psychoanalytical Association
  • Founding Member, The North American IPA Societies: CIPS
  • The Psychoanalytic Center of California Offers Postgraduate Training in Adult, Child and Research Psychoanalysis that is Approved by the State of California.   

The PCC Institute was formed to increase the number of well-trained clinicians and researchers from a variety of fields and to infuse psychoanalysis in the United States with vigorous ideas and energy from other parts of the world. The PCC is the first institute of its kind in the United States to require candidates to have a full year of infant observation as part of the training.    


*This conference is generously supported by a grant from the CAPSA Inter-regional Speakers Fund.


PCC logo

4th Annual
Bion Conference
General Admission: $150 pre-registration
$165 at the door

$95 pre-registration
$110 at the door
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Registration, 8:30 am
Conference , 9 am to 4:30 pm
New Center for Psychoanalysis
2014 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

CE Committee

Jennifer Kunst, PhD (chair); Persila Conversano, PsyD; Jennifer Langham, PhD; Chris Minnick, MD; Theodore Mitrani, PhD, and Ellyn Singer, PsyD.  None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.



MD's, Psychologists, LCSW's, MFT's, Registered Nurses, and other learners interested in developing psychoanalytic understanding.  


Course Objectives

At the end of this activity, participants will be able to:


 1. develop a method of distinguishing transformations in knowledge vs. transformations in O;


2. improve their ability to receive communications and formulate interventions that address the undifferentiated zone of psychic functioning;


3. take steps to improve an analytic stance of "no memory, no desire."


Continuing Education  


IMQ logo








This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the IMQ and the CMA's CME accreditation  standards through the PCC. The PCC is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The PCC takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.  



The PCC designates this educational activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education.  Psychologists may also apply CME credits earned through attendance at this activity toward their continuing education requirement for licensure.  


This course meets the qualifications for up to 6.0 hours of continuing education credit as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (Provider # PCE1355) for those holding MFT or LCSW licenses. This course is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP6003) for up to 6.0 contact hours. 


*Note:  Participants of all professional disciplines should only claim credit hours commensurate with their actual participation in this activity.  



PCC Executive Committee

Barnet Malin, MD, President

Leigh Tobias, PhD, President-Elect

Patricia Antin, PhD, Secretary-Treasurer   


The PCC Clinic

PCC offers referral for low cost psychoanalysis and reduced cost psychoanalytic psychotherapy provided by PCC candidates in training. For information and referral call (310)208-1053.  

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