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Institute of CFS

The Impasse

One Session Progam (1.5 Contact Hours)

Presenters: Ann Rudovsky, LCSW, and Jules Owen, SJD, LP
Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Location: Online via Zoom
Time: 1:30-3:00pm

An impasse is “a road with no outlet”, essentially a blind alley. It refers to a common feature in many treatments that, when not worked through, can lead to prolonged stalemates, often with the patient leaving prematurely or being unable to move toward a meaningful termination. Just as both therapist and patient play a role in creating and then perpetuating the impasse, each also feels thwarted, blaming the other for not seeing their point of view. Distinguishing an impasse from long periods of a treatment characterized by a negative, devaluing transference and strong negative countertransference feelings is often possible only in retrospect, since the most salient features can look very similar in both situations.

In this seminar, the second that we present on the impasse, we will once again use clinical material to think more deeply about impasses in our work; how they might arise, their dynamics—the entrenched transference/countertransference standstill, the role of projective identification, and of sadomasochism—and ways in which impasses might be engaged and resolved by making the impasse itself the subject of analytic inquiry.

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