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Contemporary Freudian Society

Finding Unconscious Fantasy in the Intimacy of the Analytic Encounter: A Book Event Program

One Session Program (3 Contact Hours)

Presenters: Paula L. Ellman, Nancy R. Goodman, Harriet I. Basseches, Irene Cairo, Carolyn Curcio, Kurt Ela, Rogelio Sosnik, and Lisa Schlesinger
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2017
Location: Founders Room, Lower Level, SIS Building - American University, West Side of Intersection of Nebraska and New Mexico Avenue, with parking underground, Washington, DC
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm

Psychoanalysis views unconscious fantasy as foundational in the understanding of psychic reality and traumatic suffering Psychotherapists and their patients work together to find the depths of mind that create pain and conflict. Our presentations will show how “finding unconscious fantasy” takes place in treatments when narrative, trauma, and body pain become known in the intimacies of transference and countertransference. By “finding” we mean the uncovering, discovering, and imagining of derivatives related to unconscious fantasies both symbolized and unsymbolized.   Our clinical focus on “finding unconscious fantasy” serves to integrate the concepts of trauma and fantasy, mending an historical split in the theories of mind.


Nancy Goodman and Paula Ellman begin the panel with summaries of their discoveries in their new book: Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain: A Clinical Guide (publisher, Routledge 2017).  Emphasis is on making contact with the patient and understanding the way unconscious fantasies appear as scenes in the theater of the mind.  Case presentations and discussions by all panelists illustrate the ongoing work of therapy where patient and therapist discover evolving unconscious derivatives in the presence of trauma and body pain, along with narrative. Learning how therapeutic work progresses to uncover unconscious fantasy will benefit all psychoanalytic therapists who wish to know more about the psychoanalytic dialogue.

Paula Ellman: Contact and Therapeutic Action

Nancy Goodman: The “Finding Theater” A Schema for Finding Unconscious Fantasy

Irene Cairo: The Case of “Babette, Interrupted”

Harriet Basseches: Discussion of “Babette, Interrupted”

Rogelio Sosnik:  Searching Unconscious Phantasy - Case and Theory

Carolyn Curcio, Kurt Ela and Lisa Schlesinger will present clinical vignettes


Most participants are contributors to a recent book: Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma and Body

Pain: A Clinical Guide (Routledge, 2017).


Books for Sale at Event: Cash or check only

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