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JOINT SCIENTIFIC MEETING – Theories and magic sexual myths in childhood

JOINT SCIENTIFIC MEETING - Theories and magic sexual myths in childhood

Joint Scientific Program meeting with the Ottawa Psychoanalytic Society

Presenter: Prof. Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor

March 18, 2023: Saturday, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

TPS/OPS Scientific Meeting: Open to All, fees apply to participants who are not CPS members or OPS Guests

** DISTANCE PARTICIPATION ONLY – Zoom meeting, RSVP is required.

The paper reconsiders infantile theories about sexuality by going back beyond the typical representations that Freud describes as “infantile sexual theories”. The child does not seek only to understand mysteries but to enjoy them. Hence, he invents secret words that will have the magic power to evoke them.

Two clinical examples will be presented, rather exceptional because, even if they are part of the stock of the childhood memories, these myths are rarely communicated spontaneously in the analysis. Most often covered by infantile amnesia, when they do survive it is in a preconscious form and their evocation does not create an effect of revelation but rather resembles the exhumation of a more or less disinvested old thing.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this presentation participants can expect:

  1. To be better able to discuss the importance in Freud’s work of the concept of “infantile sexual theories” and the child’s magical “animic” thought”.
  2. To develop an understanding of role of theorization and the “pleasure of thought” in the psychic of life of the child.
  3. To be better able to critically approach the role of the “magical sexual myths” of childhood in the clinical treatment of adults.
Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor

Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor is a philosopher and a psychoanalyst in Paris. She is Professor emeritus in psychopathology and psychoanalysis (Paris Sorbonne University, Paris 7), former Director of the Doctoral School “Research in Psychoanalysis” at the University of Paris 7 and of the Research Team “Interactions of Psychoanalysis” at the University of Paris 7. She is currently Director of the review ” Topique ” (, and President of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Interactions (A2HP) (

Her main axis of research is the psychoanalytical theory of sublimation and thought in its psychopathological, anthropological and cultural implications. In addition to a hundred articles in national and international scientific journals and collaborations in collective works, S. de Mijolla-Mellor has published 20 books and has directed or co-edited 4 others in which she also collaborated.

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by the Scientific Chair of the Ottawa Psychoanalytic Society.

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