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Contemporary Freudian Society

Understanding and Treating Trauma: A Psychoanalytic Psychodynamic Philosophical Perspective

Two Session Program (8 Contact Hours)

Presenters: Arthur Blank, Jr., MD, Barnaby Barrett, PhD, Norman Camp, MD, Russell Carr, MD, Joseph Collins, Jr., DO, Nancy Goodman, PhD, Lewis Gordon, PhD, Dorothy Evans Holmes, PhD, Joshua Morganstein, MD, Marion Oliner, PhD, Robert Stolorow, PhD, Robert Ursano, MD, J. Andrew Van Slyke, DO
Dates: Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18, 2020
Location: via Zoom
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm and 10:00am-3:00pm EST

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the effects of trauma on the psyche from a variety of perspectives and vantage points.  This two-day remote conference will provide ample space to examine how traumatic experiences shape us and how we can work to promote personal and collective growth.  There will be many opportunities for lengthy discussions with experts from the Military, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis.  There are different views about what constitutes a traumatic experience.  How do we conceptualize trauma from a psychoanalytic perspective?  How can we promote post traumatic growth?  How do we understand and work with intergenerational trauma?  Is death necessary for a trauma diagnosis?  How do we perpetuate trauma by failing to recognize internal conflicts about race?  How can combat trauma experienced by vets inform us to help promote healing?  What consequences do the trauma of sexual, physical and verbal abuse create in the individual?  Is existential loneliness traumatic?  And, importantly, how do we work with, and within, the trauma of disasters like Covid-19 and the escalation of hatred in our current climate?  Expand your knowledge and enlighten your clinical work by joining us in this very unique conversation about suffering and the human condition.


Marion Oliner PhD, a CFS Training and Supervising Analyst, has been writing about understanding trauma from a psychoanalytic perspective for over 50 years.  She will talk about her ideas and how her work with patients in psychoanalysis has informed the progression of her thinking about the definition and experience of trauma.

Robert Ursano MD, a WBCP Psychoanalyst and Director of the Center for Study of Traumatic Stress, will review the effects of trauma exposure and behavioral and psychological responses from a psychodynamic perspective.  He will discuss combat trauma on war veterans and whether psychodynamic treatment is effective.

Barnaby Barratt, PhD, a Psychoanalyst in Johannesburg, South Africa, will speak about the necessity to return to Freud’s roots of exploration through free association into the unconscious to retrieve the meanings to the individual of experienced trauma.  He will explore the inevitability of all humans experiencing psychic ruptures and how traumas might be survived, psychically, and how individual life paths are a response to the parental unconscious.

Joe Collins, DO, a CFS Training and Supervising Analyst, will discuss the effects of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse on the individual causing emotional and psychological trauma.

Lewis Gordon, PhD, will speak about how living is a form of ongoing trauma through which, in its healthy form, there is growth in living a life worth living.  Racism is the imposition of disempowerment through which agency is turned away from the world on a path inward to the construction of disempowered people being linked to a society premised on one’s exclusion, illegitimacy and erasure.  The result is the trauma of racial melancholia, a subjectivity born from the loss of belonging.

Arthur Blank, MD, a WBCP Psychoanalyst, and Andy Van Slyke, DO, a CFS Psychoanalyst, will talk about their extensive trauma work with active military and veterans, in war zones and at home.

Dorothy Holmes, PhD, a WBCP Psychoanalyst, will name and discuss hatred as the underlying motive that makes racism traumatic and how white supremacy as weaponized hatred aims to keep African Americans, and other marginalized groups, from realizing their full potential.  Illustrating with conceptual formulations and clinical examples, she will identify primitive defenses that keep whites disconnected from their racial aspects, allowing them to say, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body”.

Robert Stolorow, PhD, a LA Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis Training & Supervising Analyst and Philosopher, and Russell Carr, MD, a ICP&P Training & Supervising Analyst and veteran, will discuss their work together studying and writing about similarities and differences in trauma in combat and in human existence.

Mike Camp, MD, a WBCP Psychoanalyst and veteran, will speak about Vietnam and PTSD, and searching for a nuanced treatment perspective bridging in-theatre mental health problems, and those manifested among veterans, taking into account the interaction of predisposition, personal ordeal and quality of social support.

Joshua Morganstein, MD, Assistant Director of the Center for Study of Traumatic Stress, will talk about the psychological and behavioral impact of disasters on individuals, and factors that enhance risk for adverse outcomes following exposure to mass trauma events.

Nancy R. Goodman, PhD, a CFS Training and Supervising Analyst – Reflections on Witnessing Trauma



10:00 – 10:10am                               WELCOME

Harmon Biddle & Matthew Johnson

10:10 – 10:35am                                Psychoanalytic Thinking of Trauma as a

Work in Progress

Marion Oliner

10:40 – 11:05am                               How are, and are not, Psychodynamic Concepts and

Treatment Effective in the Treatment of Trauma

Robert Ursano

11:10 – 11:35am                                 On the Normativity of Trauma

Barnaby Barratt

11:40 - 12:05pm                                AUDIENCE DISCUSSION

Robert Ursano, Marion Oliner, and Barnaby Barratt

12:10 – 1:00pm                                  LUNCH

1:00 – 1:10pm                                    WELCOME BACK

1:10 – 1:35pm                                    Trauma of Living

Lewis Gordon

1:40 –2:05pm                                    Psychological & Behavioral Impact of

Disasters in the Time of COVID-19

Joshua Morganstein

2:10 – 2:35pm                                   Hatred and the Trauma of Racism

Dorothy Holmes

2:40-3:05pm                                      AUDIENCE DISCUSSION

Lewis Gordon, Joshua Morganstein, and Dorothy Holmes

3:10 – 3:35pm                                   Trauma, Perversity and Sexual Activity

Joe Collins

3:40 – 4:05pm                                  Military Sexual & Emotional Trauma

Andy Van Slyke Arthur Blank

4:10 – 4:30pm                                  AUDIENCE DISCUSSION

Andy Van Slyke, Joe Collins, and Arthur Blank

4:30 – 4:40pm                                 BREAK

4:45 – 5:15pm                                  TODAY’S PRESENTERS AUDIENCE DISCUSSION


10:00 – 10:10am                             WELCOME

Harmon Biddle & Matthew Johnson

10:10 – 10:50am                             Trauma in Combat & Human Existence

Robert Stolorow and Russell Carr

10:55 -11:20am                                AUDIENCE DISCUSSION

11:25 – 11:50am                               Goodbye Vietnam, Hello PTSD

Norman “Mike” Camp

11:55 –12:20pm                               AUDIENCE DISCUSSION

Robert Stolorow, Russell Carr, and Mike Camp

12:20 – 1:00pm                               LUNCH

1:00 – 1:10pm                                  WELCOME BACK

1:10 – 1:35pm                                   Reflections on Witnessing Trauma

Nancy Goodman

1:40 – 3:00pm                                  ALL CONFERENCE PRESENTERS


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