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Event Details

Institute of CFS

Envy of the Feminine

One Session Program (2 Contact Hours)

Presenter: Marie Murphy, MSW, BCD; and Discussants: Justine Kalas Reeves, DPsyche and Michael Krass, PhD
Date: Friday, November 13, 2020
Location: via Zoom
Time: 12:15-2:15pm

Gerald Fogel wrote that, “deprived of his feminine parts, a man is castrated, compromised, less than whole” (1998, p. 695). This program will investigate the ways destructive envy of the containing function motivates what John Steiner (2019) refers to as the ‘denigration and repudiation of the feminine’ as embodied in sexual and psychological violence by males toward females. That is, the assault of a female’s mind by way of sexual invasion is a type of projective identification, a hateful impingement on the containing function of the feminine other in order to cannibalize it and leave it damaged or decimated.

The analytic treatment of a misogynistic man whose mind is organized around fantasies of testicular damage will be discussed from this perspective. From this case, the speakers will seek to draw conclusions about some of the psychic underpinnings of male sexual and psychological violence towards females.

Despite recently heightened awareness of sexual intrusions into the bodies and minds of girls and women, the role of envy of the containing function in motivating sexual and psychological violence by males toward females remains under-appreciated. This program will seek to address this gap in thinking about this issue. In addition, this patient’s assaults on other people’s minds serves to protect him from his terrible conflict of wanting warmth and attunement yet fearing such contact could cause him further helplessness and shame.


Marie Murphy, MSW, BCD, is a supervising and training analyst with CFS. She is on the faculty of the CFS-Psychoanalytic Training Program and is the Director of the training institute’s Washington, DC program. She presents both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics and is very interested in the study of the impingements on the containing function of the analyst, in the comparative study of the concepts of Bion and Winnicott, in Ferro, Civitarese and Italian field theory, and in primitive mental states. She has a private practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy with adults in Bethesda, Maryland.


Justine Kalas Reeves, DPsych, is a child, adolescent and adult psychoanalyst in Woodley Park. She teaches at CFS and the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis. She is Secretary of the Association for Child Psychoanalysts. She is on the curriculum and faculty committees of CFS, and is very excited about the integrated child/adult psychoanalytic training of CFS. She has presented at IPA, APsaA and at the Anna Freud Centre. She has chapters in the forthcoming Parent Work

Casebook published by IP Books and Finding the Piggle: Reconsidering D. W. Winnicott’s Most Famous Child Case published by Phoenix. She has written on technique as well as the history of child psychoanalysis.

Michael Krass, PhD, is a supervising and training analyst with the CFS, where he is also a vice president of the board. He teaches in the CFS-Psychoanalytic Training Institute, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at The George Washington University and has taught at the Washington School of Psychiatry. In addition to his work studying impingements on the analytic container, he has presented papers at local, national and international conferences, as well as leading an ongoing APsaA discussion group on the impact of the neurobiology of autism on unconscious fantasy. He also writes about the psychodynamics of creativity and about the analyst’s use of reverie. He has a practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy with adults and psychotherapy with children in Falls Church, VA and Washington, DC.


Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to:
  1. Identify in their patients' unconscious motivations for misogynistic attitudes.
  2. Use a deeper understanding of the unconscious motivations for misogyny to inform clinical interventions less affected by countertransference
  3. Use a deeper understanding of the unconscious motivations for misogyny to manage judgmental and other counter-therapeutic reactions so as to increase empathy for those exhibiting
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