Afternoon Symposium: On Echoism and Narcissism at Freud Museum London

By on February 18, 2019

In Ovid’s version of the myth of Echo and Narcissus, the character Echo receives equal attention to her counterpart, Narcissus, yet she has been completely marginalised in the pervasive literatures on narcissism.

This afternoon gives equal voice to both parties through an introduction to Echoism from Donna Savery and thoughts on the current position of Narcissism within psychoanalytic discourse from Dany Nobus. The keynote papers are followed by a plenary discussion led by psychoanalyst, Professor Lesley Caldwell.

Donna Savery – Echoism: the Silenced Response to Narcissism
In her latest book, ‘Echoism: the Silenced Response to Narcissism’ Donna Savery explores the importance of echoism as a clinical entity and a theoretical concept. Savery draws upon her work with patients who have experienced relationships with narcissistic partners or parents, and have developed a particular configuration of object relations and ways of relating for which she uses the term echoism. She uses psychoanalytic theory and existential philosophical ideas to underpin her formulations and inform her clinical thinking.

Dany Nobus – Narcissus is Dead: Long Live Narcissism!
When Freud wrote his influential essay on narcissism in the Summer of 1913, he had not yet conceptualised the death drive. When he introduced the death drive in 1920, he did not return to his reflections on narcissism in order to analyse the tragic metamorphosis of Ovid’s Narcissus into a golden flower. In this paper, I shall review the position of Narcissus, and the eponymous human mental function, on the cusp between life and death, Eros and Thanatos. To illustrate and substantiate my argument, I shall primarily talk about … myself.


Donna Christina Savery is a psychotherapist and group therapist in private practice in Buckinghamshire and Harley Street, London. At Exeter University she carried out research for her M.A. which involved working with schizophrenic patients using drama and myth, an experience which sparked a lifelong interest in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Following a career as a theatre director and academic, she retrained in 2010 as an existential therapist, beginning her career at MIND.

Dany Nobus is a psychoanalyst, Chair of Psychoanalysis at Brunel University London, and former chair of the Freud Museum London. He is the author of Jacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2000), Knowing Nothing, Staying Stupid: Elements for a Psychoanalytic Epistemology (with Malcolm Quinn) (Routledge, 2005), and The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s “Kant with Sade” (Palgrave, 2017). He has also contributed numerous papers on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis to academic and professional journals.

Lesley Caldwell is an Honorary Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit at UCL. She is a psychoanalyst of the BPA, a member of the BPF, and a guest member of the BPAS, in private practice in London. She is a Training analyst for the Independent Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Trainings (IPCAPA) and a member of its Training Analysts’ committee. She is a London rep for COWAP, the IPA committee dedicated to women and psychoanalysis.

Afternoon Symposium: On Echoism and Narcissism at Freud Museum London Sunday 24th February 2019.

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