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Institute of CFS

The Impasse

One Session Program (1.5 Contact Hours)

Presenters: Ann Rudovsky, LCSW and Julian Owen, SJD, LP
Date: Friday, September 27, 2019
Location: CFS, 26 Court Street #1412, Brooklyn, NY
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—namely, an entrenched transference/countertransference standstill, along with enactments by both parties—can look very similar.

In this seminar, we will look at what is involved in the creation of an impasse. We will also examine what enables the therapist and the patient to become aware of it and confront the uncomfortable reality of being stuck, with no forward movement or real change. It is this predicament that becomes the subject of ongoing inquiry.

In this seminar, we will have the opportunity to think more deeply about the impasse; its development, dynamics and potential pathways towards its resolution.

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