Τα Presentation abstracts του invited symposium της Ελληνικής συμμετοχής στο 11ο Διεθνές Συνέδριο Στο Διαλεκτικό Εαυτό 10-13 Ιουνίου Βαρκελώνη

11th International Conference on the Dialogical Self, Barcelona, Spain, 10-13 June, 2020

Invited Symposium

Title: "Vladimir, Vincent, and Virginia”: Psychobiography and the puzzle of suicide from the lens of Dialogical Self Theory

Co-ordinator: Athena Androutsopoulou, PhD

E-mail: Athena@androutsoopulou.gr

Affiliation: ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece

Discussant: Kia Thanopoulou

E-mail: kthanopoulou@gmail.com

Affiliation: Family Therapy Unit, Psychiatric Hospital of Attica, Greece

There is a recent revival of psychobiography, with approaches other than the psychoanalytic being used as theoretical lenses to study famous persons. There is also increased recognition that psychobiography can advance psychological theory and help improve clinical practice. In the three psychobiography studies of Vladimir Mayakovski, Vincent van Gogh, and Virginia Woolf included in this symposium, the researchers adopt a dialogical self perspective as theoretical lens to solve the puzzle of their suicide. To achieve this, they employ narrative and dialogical analysis to gain insight into the way various inner voices present themselves as recurring themes in their autobiographical writings (early memories, letters, diaries). Narrative-dialogical analysis of these writings reveals the existence of voices that support both life (hope, love, sympathy) and death (despair, hate, melancholy), pointing to inner struggles that last till the very end. The puzzle of suicide is understood as the final dominance of voices supporting death. Both types of voices are recorded as having a developmental origin. Clinical implications on issues of prevention and treating suicide survivors are discussed in each presentation.

Keywords: psychobiography, suicide, voices, narrative-dialogical analysis, dialogical self

 

 

 

 

Presentation abstracts

1.      “All about clouds”: Voices of love and hate in the letters of Vladimir Mayakovski

Valia Mastorodemou, Gina Patsarinou, Lydia Xourafi

 ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece

 

Vladimir Mayakovski (1893-1930), the emblematic poet of the Soviet Revolution, shot himself in the heart in his apartment in Moscow. In his best-known piece of work, he refers to himself as “a cloud with pants". Mayakovski had periods of profound sadness and flirted with suicide as evident in many of his works. However, he was also a man living his life intensely, and writing “happy poetry” for the revolution. This contradiction led to conspiracy theories regarding his suicide, though contemporaries (i.e. Bakhtin, Trotsky) explained the suicide as a combination of personal and ideological disappointments. In the present narrative psycho-biography study, and drawing from relevant literature, we identified one theme from his short autobiography and his autobiographical poem “I Love”. This theme was “a mass of love and hate”. For triangulation purposes, we traced it also through his love letters to Lilly Brik, and his suicide note. The voice of ‘I as hating’ and ‘I loving’ both the self and others appear in close coalition. The lack of counter-position in Mayakovsly’s self leaves little room for a possibly life-saving dialogue. The findings point to the developmental origins of voices in close coalition, that needs further investigation. Some therapy implications are put forward.


 

 

2.      “All about stars”: Voices of sympathy and melancholy in the letters of Vincent Van Gogh

Peggy Poimenidou & Athena Androutsopoulou

‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece

Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) shot himself in the heart/stomach in the French countryside of Auvers-sur-Oise. He had recently been released from a mental hospital suffering a series of psychotic breakdowns beginning with the cut of his ear. Van Gogh eventually killed himself when out painting, when art was his only reason to live. This contradiction has led to various plots of murder in recent films. In this narrative-dialogical psycho-biographical study we monitored his inner struggle. Letters to his brother Theo written in-between breakdowns during the last two years of his life were analyzed:  There was a continuous effort to sooth and sympathize himself against melancholia and thoughts of death by suicide, described as going to a star much faster. Inner voices of self-sympathy appeared to become weaker towards the end of his life whereas voices of melancholia became stronger. His paintings of the time also depicted- in his words- his inner turmoil. Vincent -who had always felt like a burden to his parents (“a shaggy dog”) felt also like a burden to Theo toward the end of his life. In Vincent’s words, “he who doesn’t have [attachment] remains in death. But where sympathy springs up again, life springs up again.” (June 1880). Clinical implications for prevention and treatment therapy should involve working with support networks and strengthening sympathy voices within.


 

 

3.      “All about bicycles”: Voices of hope and despair in the diary of Virginia Woolf

Athena Androutsopoulou, Evgenia Rozou, & Mary Vakondiou

‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece

 

Abstract

English author Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), who suffered from bipolar disorder, drowned herself in the river Ouse, close to her country house in Rodmell, where she and her husband Leonard had fled to avoid the bombing of London by the Nazis. In this narrative-dialogical psycho-biographical study of Virginia’s final days, we attempt to solve the puzzle of her suicide. Why was she planning visits to friends if she were about to kill herself? Why would she happily ride her bicycle if she were at the verge of suicide? Diary entries of the last two months of her life were narratively analyzed. Letters sent to close female friends, to her sister, and to her husband in that same period were used for comparison and triangulation purposes. A struggle between voices -pessimistic and self-destructive versus optimistic and self-fulfilling- was most evident in Virginia’s diary, where the pessimistic voice gradually gained more ground and the optimistic voice faded after a brief peak. No meta-voice was monitored. The idea that suicidal patients may be struggling with antithetical inner voices till the end has interesting implications for prevention therapy and for the process of meaning making for families and friends.

 

Σχόλια

Δημοφιλείς αναρτήσεις από αυτό το ιστολόγιο

Poster Συμμετοχής στο συνέδριο για το διαλλεκτικό εαυτό ICDS BCN 2021 XI Conference από το Λόγω Ψυχής

Έρευνες