Our members publish widely in the local and international press on issues of concern to the public as well as professional colleagues. Here is a sampling of some recent publications:
The new edition of The Meaning of Movement serves as a guide to instruction in the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP) and as the system’s foremost reference book, sourcebook, and authoritative compendium. This thoroughly updated volume interweaves current developmental science, cultural perspectives, and KMP-derived theory and methods for research and techniques for clinical practice. Through the well-established KMP, clinicians and researchers in the realms of nonverbal behavior and body movement can inform and enrich their psychological interpretations of movement. Interdisciplinary specialists gain a way to study the embodiment of cognition, affects, learning styles, and interpersonal relations based on observation and analysis of basic qualities of movement.
Abstract: This paper posits that an infusion of psychoanalytic concepts into the teaching of sociology in undergraduate liberal arts curricula offers a route to expanding students’ understanding of how self and society are entwined in a condition of mutual crisis in contemporary society. We argue that the liberatory project at the core of the liberal arts is served well by linking the critical perspectives found in these two disciplines. We provide as specific examples from our own teaching: (1) a demonstration of how Freud’s concept of neurosis has an affinity with Marx’s concept of alienation; and (2) a discussion of how the torture sequence in Orwell’s 1984 presents an inversion of a psychoanalytic treatment through which the power of propaganda is illuminated. We conclude that teaching the two disciplines in tandem helps students grasp how the self is a socially constructed entity and how the orthodoxies of neurosis and social control are available for critique and change.
This manuscript, dated 1941, is a class on technique taught by James Strachey to first-year candidates at the British Psychoanalytical Society (BPS), located in the Archives of BPS. As the last of three written manuscripts on transference interpretation, it offers an opportunity to trace the development and subtle shift in Strachey's thinking following his 1934 paper (Strachey, 1934, 1937). The lecture is striking in its precise language, and in the complexity of the issues discussed. Through the use of an optical metaphor, the magic lantern, Strachey illustrates transference, what is therapeutic about a transference interpretation and describes projective identification and some aspects of counter-transference without naming them as such. Strachey makes a persuasive case for careful attention being paid to the analytic situation, the “artificially simplified relationship between analyst and patient” with systematic comparison to psychotherapeutic techniques of support and reassurance, which he argues lead to only temporary and limited results. The author argues that Strachey continues to be influenced by Klein's developmental, technical, and object relational theories as was already evident in his 1934 paper.
Centro Psicoanalitico di Bologna, Italy; and Centro Psicoanalitico Romano, Italy.
This paper uses the interactive performance play Sleep No More and William Shakespeare's Macbeth as bases for exploring the experience of depressive stasis. Freud's “Mourning and Melancholia” is used as a means of interpreting these works. Through the dramatic portraits of the self turned destructively upon itself found in these plays, psychoanalysis is offered as a way of imagining how grief and loss can be experienced as annihilating rather than transformative. At the core of Freud's essay is the idea that for the melancholic, time feels stuck. This paper posits that Sleep No More and Macbeth illuminate how we can think about patients in this condition and how we might try to grasp their experience of feeling like time has stopped and that hope is therefore lost.
New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, CA.
The disciple, in search of meaning, approaches the Zen master. The Zen master tests him: “What is reality?” The disciple responds, “Reality is an internal construction. Reality is the manifestation of mental aggregations. Reality is your mind’s personal creation.” The Zen master then takes a stick and smacks the disciple on the head.
Not to belabor the point, when we speak of fear of physical injury, we are dealing both with reality and fantasy. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the two. Yet, in our everyday lives, we see the operation of the reality principle (Freud, 1920; Schur, 1966). We could not drive on the highway if we did not trust that other people did not want to be physically injured. We rely on the idea that the vast majority of human beings possess a self-preservation function that leads them to try to avoid automobile accidents. We drive “defensively.” On the other hand, there are people who are afraid to drive an automobile, or even get into one, citing the average of about 40,000 deaths per year in auto accidents in the U.S. How realistic are they?
To begin, let’s start with some considerations about how fear of physical injury develops throughout childhood and adolescence, in both boys and girls. Although a vast topic, I will try to touch on some of the nodal points in development that contribute both to reality testing of physical danger and to inhibition and symptom formation (Freud, 1926). Then, after examining some clinical examples, we’ll take a look at how diagnosis and treatment selection are affected. Finally, we can take a brief look at cultural, national, and international implications of this ubiquitous fear.
Career counseling is effective for most clients. However, some unconsciously undermine the process. Why do these clients engage in self-sabotage? How can they be understood and helped? The author presents a model for psychoanalytically-informed career assessment and describes how this approach can lead to useful recommendations for career assistance.
(2013). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94(6):1200-1202
Mental Pain and Social Trauma
“Society is only partially civilized,” Tomas Plaenkers stated to open this panel's exploration of trauma in all its shapes and shades: from exogenous to endogenous, from the horrific to the subtle, from cataclysmic to the quotidian. The speakers explored the sequelae that war, immigration, torture and other atrocities visit on the psyches of individuals, their families, and their offspring, often for generations, as well as the everyday trauma of living in the present.
With the use of brief and poignant clinical vignettes, Sverre Varvin portrayed the long-term impact that horrific social events can cause, well after the traumatic event, and often to the offspring of the traumatized individual; events such as deaths through genocide, war, civil war, state organized persecution; mass relocations either through internal displacement or forced evacuations to other countries; organized rape of women and men, torture, trafficking, economic warfare, hardship and deprivation.
Traumatic experiences interrupt the individual's capacity to contain into a meaningful narrative what happened, and thus “live in the psyche as dissociated states outside time, never experienced in an emotional meaningful way but lived as an ever present presence or a dreaded future”. Anticipating Akhtar's paper on immigrants, Varvin reported that persistent attacks against one's religious or ethnic or racial identity can disrupt the traumatized individual's capacity to restore intrapsychic cohesion through membership in their group. Similarly, massive social trauma destroys the individual's participation in social/cultural context: the disruption of transmission of social codes, folk tales, rites of passage, moral challenges thus depriving the individual of opportunities to resolve, among other things, Oedipal conflicts.
Dr. Varvin suggested three steps to interrupt transgenerational transmission of trauma: rehabilitation and treatment of individuals and groups; social recognition of traumatized individuals and groups and, finally, working through on a social and political level. Using postwar Germany as an example, he cited the capacity of social systems to aid in working through the pain inflicted by the war: “I think that there are good reasons to say that the inability of a society to work with, work on and work through social atrocities of the past may act as latent fuel that can be set on fire under destabilizing societal conditions … These not worked through massive social traumatizing contexts are working as time-bombs.”
Varvin ended with a powerful vignette of a woman in a paranoid state many years after she lost a child who had been abducted and killed by an invading army. In her paranoid state she believed her living children would not care for her, indeed wished to harm her. With the help of a therapist, she was able ultimately to find a place where she could remember her lost child, use that place to memorialize the lost child, and finally, at long last, to grieve her loss. Following this experience she was able to rejoin her family: to love and be loved by them.
Salman Akhtar's paper, The mental pain of minorities, delved into the cumulative trauma to which those who live in a minority culture are exposed. A minority is “defined by the relative weakness of its social praxis, the lack of its governmental representation, the unfairness of the judiciary towards it, and the distorted gaze of the so-called majority on it.”
18 Moderator: Tomas Plaenkers (Germany). Panellists: Sverre Varvin (Norway), Salman Akhtar (USA), Leopold Nosek, (Brazil).
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Societies long for a minority group ‘to act as a container’ (Bion) of unmetabolized anxieties in to which depressive and paranoid fantasies can be projected. Thus minorities are unconsciously needed yet often consciously not wanted; the attitudes of the majority oscillating between “benign neglect and malignant prejudice.” The minority's experience is, reciprocally, either of invisibility or hyper-visibility. The immigrant suffers from a disruption of the figure/ground relationship to his surround: “Trying to fit in, one loses oneself. Holding on to oneself, one gets ruptured from the surround. One is either more aware or less aware of oneself than one needs to be.” Minority cultures can meld into the culture of the majority as in the melting pot metaphor, or can retain their own cultural, religious, ethnic differences and traditions while participating fully in the socio-political life of their host country as in the ideal of multiculturalism.
Akhtar described instances of the host country's majority “silencing” the immigrant's participation for fear of being overpowered or replaced by the immigrant's culture. Even so-called democratic nations prevent the full political and social immersion of their minority groups out of prejudice and hatred. When a member of a minority does succeed, the internal and external burdens are heavy. Overcoming or living with the unconscious guilt of surpassing those left behind can inhibit one's ambitions and dull one's competitive spirit. Once successful, this person becomes either an icon or a target, but, at the very least, hypervisible. As such, the individual can lose their bearings and sense of belonging, all of which can rob the ego of necessary support and enrichment. Constant working through of superego pressures against internalized injunctions against success (from identification with majority attitudes), combined with Oedipal conflicts can overtax the psyche.
Ameliorative measures suggested by Akhtar overlap with those suggested by Varvin. They included providing access to or restoring full civil rights to minorities, acknowledging the majority's role in the minority's problems, accepting the minority's culture and including minority figures and culture in the social iconography of the majority.
With microscopic focus on the “present”, Leopold Nosek made real for the listener what being in a traumatic state is like. He located the “trauma of the present” at the point at which symbolization fails and neurosis fails. Any event can be traumatic, if the mind has not the sufficiency to elaborate and contain what is felt to be excess: “The excess will be the ‘formlessness’ that spreads through the mind, creating in its functioning disturbances that will appear in the clinical setting as action or transference.” Bion's (1962) ideas of beta elements and the failure of containment are implicit and explicit throughout this paper as well as Green's (1999) idea of the negative.
Nosek identified the trauma of the present in our changing experience of time, by pointing to the rapidly increasing speed of transformation required of contemporary mankind: “[It] has snatched from us the time to build the meanings necessary and the oneiric reserve to support life and survival in the present.” This psychic compression he considered responsible for pathologies such as anorexia, bulimia, panic states and narcissistic syndromes, in which myth making, fantasy making, and symbolization are absent: “They are the illnesses of action.” He asked us to become the builders of psyches, no longer the interpreters of psyches. Absence of meaning, the lack of dreams and memory, requires analysts to become the builders of mind, dreams, and memories. The demands of everyday life in a world without meanings, with a flattened and adumbrated unconscious, are traumatic: “Meaning arises in the interior of relations through the construction and destruction of connections between sensitive intuitions and memories. It will appear as an ember, and its transposition to language will make it obsolete.” Nosek found the absence of meaning as “darkness, which is not the absence of light but the presence of the obscure.” It is the present, not the traumatic past, which Nosek said patients find traumatic: “The relationship between the present and memories is governed by a dialectic tension: while obscuring the present, memories are the present, the filter through which our vision is constituted. They are also, in their fragmentation, raw material for building the new. Trauma and neurosis need to be seen in this pair and in this perpetual movement. The present is excess and, therefore, dark. Deciphering the excess implies the firm will to transform the dark not into absence, but into the real that is awaiting authorship, into the intuition awaiting form.”
For the analyst, leaving oneself open to being inhabited by the foreign, formless, darkness of the patient's traumatic experience of the present is to let oneself be traumatized and to experience the infinite without having to define or habituate it.
The discussion opened with a dialogue between the three speakers and a clarification of what “trauma” means: Varvin stated it is another word for “too much.” “Trauma is the end of time. There is not the future.” Akhtar added that trauma is not a singular concept; consider shock trauma and cumulative trauma, strain trauma. Transgenerational transmission is not restricted to painful events, but also to the absence of positive events, for example, love, poetry, heroes, memories, and rites. Nosek stated that the potential of time is traumatic, is painful. Prudy Gourguechon, referencing the recent practice in the United States of racial profiling as well as the killing of Trayvon Martin, spoke about the majority's indifference to the pain of the African American experience, and added that to deny the minority's experience is to deny the minority in oneself: the weak, the frightened, the small. The discussion ended with examples given of minority culture's heroes being represented in majority art and memorials in the likenesses
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of the majority culture, silencing and eradicating the minority identity. Maria Cohen from Argentina spoke about the creative possibility of being an outsider by reminding the audience that Freud was a minority and might never have developed psychoanalysis had he been in the majority.
Bion W (1962). Learning from experience. London: Karnac, 1984. [→]
Green A (1999). The work of the negative, Weller A, translator. London: Free Association Books. [→]
Written to help the psychoanalytically informed therapist help the patient recognize that exploring ideas and feelings is a journey worth taking and that the therapist is a trustworthy guide. Often people need to wade before they feel comfortable diving into deep waters. For them, psychoanalytically informed therapy is an inviting point of entry to the continuum it shares with psychoanalysis.
"Therapists inevitably feel more gratified in their work when their cases have better treatment outcomes. This book is designed to help them achieve that by providing practical solutions to problems that arise in psychotherapy, such as:
Do depressed people need an antidepressant, or psychotherapy alone? How do you handle people who want to be your “friend,” who touch you, who won’t leave your office, or who break boundaries? How do you prevent people from quitting treatment prematurely? Suppose you don’t like the person who consults you? What if people you treat with CBT don’t do their homework? When do you explain defense mechanisms, and when do you use supportive approaches?
Award-winning professor, Jerome Blackman, answers these and many other tricky problems for psychotherapists. Dr. Blackman punctuates his lively text with tips and snippets of various theories that apply to psychotherapy. He shares his advice and illustrates his successes and failures in diagnosis, treatment, and supervision. He highlights fundamental, fascinating, and perplexing problems he has encountered over decades of practicing and supervising therapy." from Routledge, https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415888929
New Directions Washington, DC Nov. 8, 2013.
This panel considered the infrequently reported topic of psychoanalytic impasse. Specifically, how does one work with and work through an impasse that “deforms the psychoanalytic situation?” (O'Shaughnessy, 1992, p. 603) With Rosenfeld's (1987) Impasse and Interpretation in mind, Edna O'Shaughnessy presented a case in which an impasse developed in the seventh year of analysis. Her paper made an argument for facing and accepting the patient's psychic limitation which then facilitated the patient's resumption of a proper analysis, albeit with now more circumscribed goals. The panel raised important questions about the limits of interpretation and the limiting factors of the capacity of the analysand and the analyst.
This book skillfully combines autobiographical stories with clear psychoanalytical theories. During her childhood, the author experienced the Holocaust and was left understandly traumatised by it. It was her desire to confront this trauma that led her to psychoanalysis. For decades, the coherence of psychoanalysis seemed to be threatened by the conflicting thinking of many psychoanalytical colleagues about trauma and trauma affect, and also about the influence of external reality on the psychic reality discovered by Freud. However, Marion Oliner counters this potential conflict with her innovative theoretical integration, combined with remarkable conceptual outcomes and treatment techniques.
An ethnographic, sociological analysis of the purpose and practice of education in America. We use three case studies—a liberal arts college, a boarding school, and a Job Corps center—to illustrate how class, bureaucratic, and secular-religious dimensions of education prepare youth for participation in American foreign and domestic policy at all levels. Exploring how youth and their educators encounter the complexities of ideology and bureaucracy in school, this book explores the flawed redemptive relationship between education and society in the United States. Paradoxically, these three schools studied prepare students to participate in a society whose values they oppose.
Meetings of the American Psychological Association
Discussion group, "Sex and theAmerian Psyche" led by Curtis Bristol
Greater Kansas City and Topeka Psychoanalytic Center.
Get the Diagnosis Right explains how to make an accurate diagnosis when people have emotional problems. The DSM manuals contain collections of symptoms and complaints that can be organized to form a preliminary diagnosis. The observer, however, can do more than collect and arrange complaints. Assessment should also be done regarding deficits in important mental functions (including organizing thought and checking reality), in basic capacities for containing emotions and impulses, in abilities to sustain close relationships, and in the intactness of the conscience. If deficits are not found, then internal conflicts among wishes, guilt, emotions, and defense mechanisms become more important.
Get the Diagnosis Right is divided into two sections: "Part I: The Quick and Dirty" and "Part II: The Rest of the Story." Part I, about 50 pages, sets out the major concepts necessary to determine what type of treatment a person with emotional problems should obtain. Part II, about 200 pages, enlarges on Part I, giving more detail and discussing the complications. Both Sections include a template for completing an evaluation, along with charts, tables, clinical examples, and references for further study.
Love, Loss: Creating A Meaningful Life, AAPCSW, 2010.
Greater Kansas City and Topeka Psychoanalytic Center.
Paper presented at the Psychoanalytic Cnter of Philadelphia
The Contemporary Freudian Society
The American Psychoanalytic Association, Curtis Bristol, Moderator, Discussion Group on Self Psychology
Mt. Sinai Dept. of Psychiatry.
IPA 46th Congress, 2009. Participants: Garcia Badaracco (Argentina,) Ken Eisold (New York,) and Leo Rangell (Los Angeles).
The concept of parental conflict, as it is used in the custody evaluation literature, rarely conveys the motivational complexity of chronic parental acrimony. The concept of pathological hatred better describes and explains why some parents continue bitter fighting years after their divorce. Kernberg’s classificatory schema of pathological hatred is applied to high-conflict divorces in which such hatred may be viewed as an effort to destroy, while at the same time desperately needing, the other parent. Difficulties mourning the lost marital relationship, stemming from either character pathology or childhood trauma, create a fertile breeding ground for pathological hatred. The concept of parental competence is also frequently oversimplified in the custody evaluation literature, where it is viewed as an assortment of unrelated skills. From a psychoanalytic perspective, the capacity for parenting is viewed as an outgrowth of a parent’s object relationships, defensive structure, ego functioning, superego functioning, and unresolved developmental conflicts. Pathological hatred of the other parent tends to erode the parent’s capacity for nurturance, as the parent sacrifices support of the child’s developmental needs to the goal of making the child a pawn in the interparental hatred.
The negative impact on the child’s development can be insidious. An understanding of pathological hatred in high-conflict divorce enables the forensic custody evaluator to assist courts in making appropriate recommendations for therapeutic intervention, as well as custodial and visitation plans that have the potential to ameliorate or at least contain the damaging impact of the interparent hostilities on the child’s development.
Tucson Psychoanalytic Society, John Rosegrant, Moderator
Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (MITPP).
Barrier busting is a business term recently used by Amory Lovins, an energy wizard and CEO of the Rocky Mt. Institute. He was referring to the need for all those concerned with oil consumption and alternative energy to work together towards finding solutions. Psychoanalysis needs to […]
Barrier busting is a business term recently used by Amory Lovins*, an energy wizard and CEO of the Rocky Mt. Institute. He is referring to the need for all those concerned with oil consumption and alternative energy to work together towards a solution. I applaud this concept as it relates to psychoanalysis as well. Psychoanalysis […]
Future of Psychoanalytic Education: Innovation & Preservation, New York City.
Affiliates Council of ApsaA.
New Orleans-Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center.
University of Birmingham Department of Psychiatry and Neurobiology.
The adoption experience, even under the best circumstances, may leave its mark on all stages of development. When it occurs after multiple placements, at eighteen months of age, it is bound to have a detrimental effect on the psychic structure of the child. This paper will focus on the impact of this primary rejection, compounded by subsequent ones, on the self esteem, superego, and identity formation of a woman who began analysis in her late thirties. It will show how the analysis helped modify her psychic structure, thus facilitating her ability to utilize a specific family romance fantasy that ushered in a movement from self representation of a cockroach to that of a woman.
The Future Of Psychoanalytic Education, New York City, Dec. 1, 2007.
IPA, Berlin, 2007.
Instead of focusing on the facts that psychoanalysis is far from the publicâ€™s mind and that there is a dearth of candidates, too much energy is being spent on deciding just how many hoops one must jump through to call themselves an analyst and then a training analyst. My plea is for ecumenical cooperation to replace the infighting that is draining our field of the energy needed to re-build the reputation of psychoanalysis as a valid form of treatment and study.
pp 16, 241-263.
Reply to commentaries, same issue, pp 305-316
Annual Five Journals Conference: Shame Symposium, New York City.
Division 39, Psychoanalysis, the American Psychological Association, Philadelphia
Karen Horney Institute, New York City
APsaA national meetings 2005-present, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle.
Joint International Conference, "Power and its Discontent," Cape Town, South Africa
Division 39, Psychoanalysis, the American Psychological Association, Miami Beach
Once a journey for self understanding has begun, there is inevitably a struggle against real change. Inner roadblocks on both sides of the couch impede the journey of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and these roadblocks are what the book is about. The pressure to repeat the past in the present, including the attachments to pain and the difficulty of letting go of abusive relations (both internal and external) are enemies of growth and change. These roadblocks (resistances) and the forms they take are explored and illustrated in this book.
"Defenses are mental operations that restore or maintain psychic equilibrium when people feel that they cannot manage emotions that stem from conflict; they remove components of unpleasant emotions from conscious awareness. For example, using sex, food, or hostility to relieve tension - that's a defense - catalogued here as entry number 68: Impulsivity. Screaming at someone can be a defense. Playing golf can be a defense. So can saving money. Or at least all of these activities may involve defenses. In this book, Blackman catalogs 101 defenses - the most ever compiled - with descriptions practical for use in everyday assessment and treatment of psychopathology. He explains how to detect and interpret a defense and offers supportive therapy techniques. The many practical tips interspersed throughout this text make it an excellent reference tool for students and experienced clinicians, while the user-friendly features allow all readers to experience how psychological defenses operate in everyday life." From https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415946957
Discussant: Adrienne Harris, American Psychoanalytic Association, Boston
Southeast Florida Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
Southeast Florida Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (SEFIPP).
National Committee on Psychoanalysis Conference.
pp 51, 1060-1066
Section I Division 39, the American Psychological Association, Kansas City
IPA 5 Societies "Conference on 9/11," New York City
pp 83, 478-482
Washington, DC Psychoanalytic Division of NYFS.
New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York City
pp 18, 602-611
pp 49, 733-737
Karen Horney, Winter Meeting.
George Washington University, Washington, DC
pp 81, 799-802
Southwest Florida Psychoanalytic Society.
- American Psychological Association, Boston, 1998
- IPA, Santiago, Chile, 1999
pp 14, 211-220
Fourth Joint International Conference International Conference, Florence, Italy
Love and death are prevalent motifs in legend, art, literature, and opera, as well as in the fantasies of most people. In art and life, the love/death archetype transcends culture, time, and geography. This book addresses two kinds of fantasies of love and death, one the passionate wish to die together with a loved one, the other the desire to extend one's life—and loves—after death. Illustrating how these love/death phenomena span a continuum from the normal to the pathological, Helen Gediman delves into the psychoanalytic meanings of these fantasies and motifs, as embedded in the arts, as well as in the human psyche.
This work examines the concept of deceit and its ubiquity both in everyday life and in various forms of psychopathology. It offers examples of clinical work with true impostors, those with imposturous tendencies, and those who fear they are impostors when in fact they are not.
New York Freudian Society, New York City
New York Freudian Society, Washington DC Program, Bethesda, Maryland
Panel, NYU Postdoctoral Program, Harriman, NY
Panel, "The Changing Perspectives on the Therapeutic Relationship," NYU Postdoctoral Program Freudian Track Faculty Conference, Freudian Psychoanalysis Today: Freud, Klein, Winnicott, and Beyond, New York City
Discussion of panel presentations by Steven Ellman and Warren Poland, Section I Symposium, Division 39 Spring Meeting, Washington DC
Discussion of paper presented by Phyllis Tyson, American Psychoanalytic Association, San Francisco
Institute for the Study of Psychotherapy.
pp 10, 469-479
New York Freudian Society, New York City
pp 8, 381-401
Division 39, American Psychological Association, New York City
Conference on “Love,” The Washington School of Psychiatry, Washington, DC
New York Freudian Society, New York City
Forum for Psychoanalysis and the Arts, Orvieto, Italy
pp 6, 67-91
Washington DC Program of the New York Freudian Society, Colloquium, Washington DC
pp 33, 911-935
Presentations to the Society of Clinical Social Workers.
pp 65, 191-202
Freudian Track Colloquium Series of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York City
American Psychoanalytic Association, New York City
pp 64, 59-70
pp 3 & 4, 415-428
American Psychoanalytic Association, New York City
Discussion at Symposium on Analyzability, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York City
American Psychoanalytic Association, New York City
pp 69, 391-399
pp 67, 505-514
pp 29, 607-630
pp 59, 234-255
International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Berlin, Germany
pp 23, 407-423
pp 52, 243-257
Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, New York City
Using nodal sessions in the case of a profoundly traumatized woman as an illustrative foundation, this paper explores the mutative actions of psychoanalytically informed art therapy interventions. The efficacy of these interventions, which range from subtle to active, is supported by current research in the fields of neurobiology, infant development, cognitive science, and psychoanalysis. Focus is given to the continuum of dissociation as a survival response to overwhelming trauma, the relationship of dissociative processes to implicit memory, the mirror neuron system, and embodied simulation, as well as ways that the therapist’s sensitivity to the impact of trauma and dissociation on the survivor can be harnessed to promote the healing process.
Psychoanalysis Today: A Case Book addresses the two issues currently of major concern in the field of psychoanalysis. The different theoretical models, and the need for more case material in the literature. Thus, the main theme for the 5th. I.P.A . Congress of Training Analysts is on Problems in the Integration of Different Theoretical Frameworks in the Formation of the Psychoanalyst. Klumpner and Frank (J.A.P.A. 1991, Vol. 21) state that after reviewing papers from the leading journals, “ not a single one of the fifteen papers included any significant amount of primary clinical data! … we found no verbatim examples and only one dream fragment … we also believe that case reports … remain our most compelling means of communicating these clinical findings.” Meeting these concerns, Psychoanalysis Today: A Case Book contains in-depth studies of cases highlighting the leading analytic models of personality and the typical working styles associated with each: classical theory, object relations, ego psychology, and self psychology. Cases showing an analyst weaving a tapestry of several models with the same patient are also included. Psychoanalytic literature contains many summaries of clinical case material, but details of the actual work of the analyst are extremely rare. Psychoanalysis Today: A Case Book will help fill that gap. Here are in-depth discussions of work with a single individual followed over time, demonstrating personal change and how it occurs. Abstract concepts come vividly to life. These cases are focused on the shared experience of the patient and the analyst. They tell the story of that experience and its effect on the patient’s life both inside and outside the consulting room. There are many voices in this book. The reader can contrast different styles; different assumptions; a whole range of viewpoints. This book will be of particular value to students. There is no comparable source for seeing just how mentors work. Also, practicing psychoanalysts and psychotherapists will find a chance to study the work of their colleagues in close detail. This is a pleasure quite unavailable in the daily rush of professional life. Programs in psychology, social work and other behavioral sciences, as well as schools of medicine, will use this book as a text or supplementary source. It is an invaluable reference tool for libraries. This book has mass appeal as well: the reader will learn about those forces leading us to feel and act as we do. There is the drama of seeing lives unfold. We see how the actual events between analyst and patient, evolving over time, gradually and with much difficulty, bring liberating changes in the patient’s experience of life.
Control cases from the broad group of non-neurotic but potentially analyzable patients appear with increasing frequency. The intense, complex transferences they develop place great stress on the psychoanalytic relationship and evoke marked countertransference reactions in psychoanalytic candidates, which reverberate within the supervisory relationship. Through application of a case study method, common themes emerge in the candidate-supervisor dyad: idealization of the supervisor and of classical technique, identification with the patient, parallel process enactments, difficulty maintaining the analytic frame, and the importance of concurrent training analysis. Classical supervisory techniques must be adapted to the “difficult” ( non-neurotic ) control case. Complex countertransference issues must be carefully addressed while maintaining the teach/treat boundary.
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