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Event Details

Contemporary Freudian Society

New York Spring Project “The Perinatally Depressed Couple and the Work of Mourning: A Developmental Imperative”

One Session Program (2 Contact Hours)

Presenter: Molly Ludlam, MA
Date: Friday, March 31, 2017
Location: Mt. Sinai, Hatch Auditorium, Madison Ave @ 100th Street, NYC
Time: 8:00-10:00pm

This paper explores the impact of depression on adult couple relationships and proposes that a couple’s relationship, itself, might, sometimes, be considered “depressed.”  Couple relationships are most vulnerable to break down during pregnancy and their children’s infancy. At this time the couple must manage several demanding developmental tasks, both as individuals and as a couple. The phenomenon of postnatal/ perinatal depression in new parents is well recognized. The concept of couples being “perinatally depressed” offers other ways of understanding the complexity of couples’ developmental tasks. The long-term trans-generational consequences of emotional learning by both parents and children at this time crucially influence the making of future couple relationships. These issues are explored with reference to psychotherapy with two couples experiencing depression perinatally.

To register:

Molly Ludlam, MA having recently retired from clinical practice as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with couples, individuals, and parents, she now focuses on teaching, consulting, writing and editing.  She is the Founding Editor of the International Journal of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis.  Other publications include Couple Attachments: Theoretical and Clinical Studies (2007), co-edited with V.Nyberg; and most recently “Failure in Couple Relationships and in Couple Psychotherapy” (2014) in: B. Willock, R. Coleman, Curtis & L. Bohm, (Eds), Understanding and Coping with Failure: Psychoanalytic Perspectives; “Sitting with Marital Tensions: the work of Henry Dicks in applying Fairbairn’s ideas to couple relationships, “(2014), in: D. Scharff & G. Clarke (Eds) Fairbairn and the Object Relations Tradition; and “The Perinatally Depressed Couple and the Imperative of Mourning” (2014) in: K.Cullen, E. Bondi, J. Fewell, E. Francis, & M. Ludham (Eds).  Making Spaces: Putting Psychoanalytic Thinking to Work.  She was recently appointed to serve as External Examiner at Tavistock Relationships, UK, from 2016-2019.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe the impact of postnatal and perinatal depression on adult couple relationships.
  2. Explore, from the perspective of psychoanalytic object relations theory, how postnatal/perinatal depression affects adults’ and couples’ success in negotiating developmental tasks.
  3. Discuss how psychoanalytic couple psychotherapy can be used to mitigate the potential, long-term, transgenerational damage to family relationships.
Continuing Education Contact Hours:

Psychotherapy of New York, NY LCSW, PC, CEP #0263 is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. Course completion certificates will be awarded via email, to those who have attended the full length of all sessions in a course, after the completion of an online course evaluation.

For further information regarding this course, please contact Tania Asnes at
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