This is the second in the series of talks 'On Loss and Creativity', which coincide with the exhibition Breathe by artists Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill.
Ronald Britton's work is characterised by his preoccupation with truth; with what is real, and how we know this. His answer follows Keats, ‘nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced’ and his contributions follow from this. In his book ‘Belief and Imagination’ he examines the relationship between psychic reality and fictional writing, and the ways in which belief, imagination and reality are explored in the works of Wordsworth, Rilke, Milton and Blake. He explores questions such as the status of phantasies in an individual’s mind - are they facts or possibilities? How the notions of objectivity and subjectivity are interrelated and have their origins in the Oedipal triangle. How phantasies which are held to be products of the imagination, can be accounted for in psychoanalytic terms.
Ronald Britton is a training and supervising analyst with the British Psychoanalytical Society. He first trained as a doctor, and as a child psychiatrist was Chair of the Department of Children and Parents at the Tavistock Clinic, where he was involved in treatment of deprived children and their parents. This experience was influential to his psychoanalytic thinking where he maintains the importance of ‘childhood’ as a formative experience. His theoretical background is that of Freud, Klein and post-Kleinians. Additionally, he brings his own wide interests, including philosophy, theology, science, and particularly, his passion for poetry, which he uses as a basis for psychological understanding. Arguably, it is from the last that his most original contribution was inspired, namely his psychoanalytic understanding of the source of inspiration: the imagination.
The series will be chaired by Jon Stokes, Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Senior Fellow Oxford University; former Chair, Adult Department Tavistock Clinic.