Information on upcoming VIP sponsored conferences will be available soon.


Dreams, Meaning, and Emotions: Perspectives from Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis:

Saturday, April 6th, 2019
The University of Vermont Medical Center | Burlington, Vermont
Davis Auditorium
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


VIP Mark Solms Event at UVMRecent advances in neuroscience now make it possible to study the dynamic nature of the mind through brain research – a possibility that Freud predicted nearly 100 years ago. This emerging body of brain research supports many basic assumptions of psychanalysis, making the dialogue between psychoanalysis and neuroscience especially relevant to clinicians. In this conference, internationally renowned psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, Mark Solms, will review some of his pioneering neuroscientific research that supports many ideas and methods foundational in psychoanalytic theory and therapy.

In his morning presentation, Solms will discuss the initial debunking of Freudian dream theory from the 1950s – 1970s, and then describe how subsequent research from the 1990s till today has led to the opposite conclusion: almost all the basic assumptions that psychoanalysts and therapists hold about dreaming are now confirmed by brain research. In the afternoon, Solms will focus on the rediscovery of the unconscious in cognitive neuroscience in the late 20th century, which led to the question being seriously asked: if so much of our cognition goes on unconsciously, why are we conscious at all? The emerging answer is good news for psychoanalysts and therapists: it seems that emotional feeling is the core function of consciousness. Through the day, we will explore the emerging conversation between psychoanalysis and neuroscience and consider how it may inform and support our work as clinicians.

About the Presenter:

Mark Solms is best known for his discovery of the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming, and for his integration of psychoanalytic theories and methods with those of modern neuroscience. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also currently Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000 and was Founding Editor of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis. He has published more than 250 articles and book chapters, and 5 books. He is the authorised editor and translator of the forthcoming Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 vols), and the Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud (4 vols).


Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the brainstem mechanisms that regulate the REM/nonREM sleep cycle.
  2. Describe the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming and how they differ from those for REM sleep.
  3. Summarize the scientific evidence for and against psychoanalytic dream theory.
  4. Summarize the evidence showing that most cognitive processes are unconscious.
  5. Describe the brain mechanisms of consciousness.
  6. Explain the foundational role that affect plays in how and why consciousness arises in the brain.

Pending Application made for 6 CEU for Psychologists, Social Workers, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors.


8:30 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. Welcome/Presentation of Speaker – Mel Miller, Ph.D., VIP President

9:15 a.m. Morning Session: Are dreams meaningless? Lessons from neuroscience – Mark Solms, Ph.D. – Keynote Speaker

10:45 a.m. Morning Break

11:00 a.m. Discussion

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. Q & A

1:15 p.m. Afternoon Session: Why are we conscious? Lessons from neuroscience’

2:45 p.m. Afternoon Break

3:00 p.m. Discussion

4:15 p.m. Closing Comments

4:30 p.m. Adjourn

* * *

Directions from Interstate 89:

-Take Exit 14 West onto Main Street in Burlington.
-Turn right onto East Avenue, then left onto Carrigan Drive.
-At the top of the hill, turn right at the traffic light onto Beaumont Avenue.
-Follow Beaumont Avenue to the underground parking garage, entrance on your right.
Conference attendees will receive a coupon for parking; please park on Level L (Green) or Level LL (Purple) to leave room for patients on upper levels. From the parking garage, go to Building Entrance on Level 2 (Orange).

The conference will be held in DAVIS AUDITORIUM, located on Level 2 at the far end of the building. Follow signs to Davis Auditorium.


Mail Registration Form, with check to:
Dr. Elizabeth Seward, VIP Treasurer
197 South Winooski Avenue – Unit#4
Burlington, VT 05401

Registration or Conference Questions? Call Stella Marrie at 802-223-2999, or email at

Fee Schedule: Before March 23 | After March 23rd

Regular Fee: $140 | $160

Student Fee: $35 | $50