ICLO-NLS Open Event: Aggressivity In The Mirror – Violent Acts In Childhood And Adolescence

ICLO-NLS ICLO-NLS Programme, News, Opening Event


Aggressivity In The Mirror – Violent Acts In Childhood And Adolescence

with Iván Ruiz

Dublin, 29th September 2018
10am-4pm PSI, Grantham St, D8


Violence is the term currently used to refer to the exercise of aggressivity by one subject against another. However, nowadays this term also denotes forms of naturalised violence, which make violence anonymous, desubjectivised, and systemic. Violence is inherent to the functioning of capitalism and it is on the basis of the capitalist discourse that it may be legitimised. The subject’s relation with the object of consumption obeys the imperative Enjoy!; manifestations of violence are classified according to the context in which it appears (gender violence, school violence, racial violence, institutional violence, etc.); but its essence is the same: a rejection of the way the other obtains their jouissance, or enjoys. There is, then, a topology of violence, as contemporary philosophy puts it.

In psychoanalysis, it is aggressivity that is actually at play in every violent act. Sigmund Freud traced its source to what he called the death drive, and Jacques Lacan ascribed it to the tension proper to specular relations. Is it possible to think of an example of aggressive intention in a subject that would not be determined by their narcissistic structure? In particular, paranoid psychoses often reveal, in their violent acts, an aggression towards the person who was put in the position of an imaginary rival, that is, someone potentially aggressive.

Aggressivity occurs when the circuit of speech fails. Thus from the psychoanalytic perspective we can state that that which is not expressed in words ends up being acted out, and, occasionally, with redoubled aggression. The so called juvenile violence has a varied and complex phenomenology in children and adolescents, and psychoanalysis studies its manifestations in the family, at school and other institutions that deal with these subjects.

What aggressivity is there in each act of violence? Who is it directed at? How can we interpret it and make the subject participate in its treatment?


Iván Ruiz is a psychoanalyst in Barcelona. Member of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis (ELP) and the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP). Co-director of Centre l’Alba (a special education school for children and adolescents with psychosis and autism). Coordinator of the Psychosis and Autism Investigation Group at the Clinical Section of Barcelona, which is part of the Spanish Institute of the Freudian Field. He is co-author of the book Not all about autism (No todo sobre el autismo, Ed. Gredos, 2013) and he compiled the volume The Surveillance Society and Its Criminals (La sociedad de la vigilancia y sus criminales, Ed. Gredos, 2011).

Booking: register@iclo-nls.org [limited places available]

9:30 – 10.00                Registration

10:00 – 10.15              ICLO-NLS 2018/2019 Programme Launch:

Joanne Conway (Chair ICLO-NLS)

10:15 – 11.45              Seminar  “Violent Acts in Childhood and Adolescence”

Speaker: Iván Ruiz

11.45 – 12:15              Coffee Break

12:15 – 13:00             Clinical Presentation: “It leaves traces”

Speakers: Joanne Conway and Iván Ruiz

13:00 – 14:00             Lunch Break

14:00 – 16:00             Violence TodayPanel Discussion

Facilitator: Ms. Cecilia Saviotti (Psychoanalytic Practitioner & Clinical Psychologist with Voluntary  Organisation Children, Adolescents and Family Services).

Discussants: Mr Iván Ruiz, Dr. Aoife Twohig (Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist), Ms. Gloria Kirwin (Assistant Professor, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin), Ms. Cecilia Saviotti.

16:00                           Closing