Oct 4 The Elephant Not in the Room: Will Psychoanalysis Survive the Screen?
Leora Trub, PhD & Joyce Slochower, PhD, ABPP, Discussant
Until Covid upended the psychoanalytic frame as we knew it, most of us assumed that the therapeutic process required that analysts’ and patients’ bodies occupy the same physical space. While Covid forced us to abandon these assumptions, we anticipated, even yearned for the day when we could return to in-person work. But times have changed. Today, many of us have chosen to continue practicing remotely for reasons that are not related to fears of exposure. Many have no plan to return. Why? What dynamics – personal and intersubjective- underlie our decision to remain remote? This presentation explores our new relationship to remote work and the implications of staying online for our ourselves, our patients, and for the field.
Leora Trub is Associate Professor at Pace University’s doctoral program in School/Clinical Child Psychology in New York, and a practicing clinical psychologist. She is the author of numerous publications on clinical practice in the digital age, and the relationship between technology and psychological constructs including attachment, emotional regulation, intimacy, self-presentation and mindfulness.
Joyce Slochower is a clinical psychologist. She is faculty and supervisor at several psychoanalytic training programs, has published widely on various aspects of psychoanalytic theory and technique, and is on editorial boards for psychoanalytic journals, amongst various other activities. She is in private practice in New York City, where she sees individuals and couples, and runs supervision and study groups. She will act as a discussant.
FROM FIELD TO MIND: RECENT THINKING ABOUT THE FORMULATION OF EXPERIENCE
Saturday, October 14, 2023
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST
*This is a Zoom Virtual Conference Event*
Morning Session: Distance and Relation: Emergence from embeddedness in the other
Inspired by an essay by Martin Buber (1950), and then by the work of Ernest Schachtel (1959) on the idea of “embeddedness” and emergence from it, this is an account of the role of “distance” or “separateness” in clinical psychoanalytic work. We tend to assume that the capacity to appreciate otherness is always already present. We often lose track of the necessity to “set the other at a distance” (Buber), the prerequisite for emergence from embeddedness in the other. The entire process—i.e., setting the other at a distance and then emerging from embeddedness in the other–must take place over and over again in any treatment, and in both directions: Patients must disembed from analysts, but it is just as necessary for analysts to disembed from patients. It is the emergence from embeddedness that allows the analyst’s appreciation of patient’s otherness. Embeddedness in the other is discussed as mutual enactment. This use of these phenomena in treatment is articulated in the theory of witnessing that I have presented in recent years (Stern, 2009, 2012, in press). The presentation ends with a detailed clinical illustration.
Afternoon Session: Interpretation: Voice of the Field
To patients, the most memorable moments in psychoanalytic treatment are seldom the contents of the analyst’s interpretations, but the feeling of being understood. Interpretations are most meaningful, I argue, not because of what they say, but because each one is evidence that the analyst, who routinely becomes someone of great significance to the patient, knows the patient more than they did the moment before. I call this process “witnessing” (Stern, 2009, 2022), and as a result of it patients not only know and feel—they also “know and feel that they know and feel.” They can feel their roles in authoring their own experience. Therapeutic action results: Patients “come into possession of themselves.”
Interpretations are the outcome of shifts in the interpersonal field, which reveal new freedom to think and feel. That new freedom to think and feel allows the creation of the analyst’s interpretations, which therefore serve as a sign of the new way of being in one another’s presence that has now become possible between analyst and patient. Field shifts are jointly created, without conscious intention; and interpretations arise from field shifts. Interpretations, we can therefore say, are not really created independently by the mind of the analyst, but are instead the voice of the field. The presentation ends with a clinical illustration of these ideas.
Nov 18 Parasomnia & the Wrongful Conviction of Oscar Pistorius: Illuminating Insights from Dream and Sleep Science.
A Canada-South Africa Dialogue
Dr. Alison Bentley and Dr. Brent Willock
November 18th, 2023
9-11.30 am EST, 3-5.30 pm SAST
This is a virtual event
About the Day:
Mental health, legal professionals, and others frequently have insufficient knowledge of disorders of sleep and dreaming–leading to significant oversights, and miscarriages of justice. This day will provide an overview of parasomnia, then re-examine a well-known case.
Dr. Alison Bentley ran the first diagnostic sleep laboratory in South Africa. She headed Wits University School of Physiology’s Sleep Laboratory, was the founding chairperson of the Sleep Society of South Africa, and represented Africa on the governing council of the World Association of Sleep Medicine. She has published many articles and book chapters on sleep and sleep disorders in lay media and scientific journals and has contributed over 40 invited conference presentations. She edits Sleep Matters, a publication sent to 2000 doctors quarterly.
Dr. Brent Willock, Past President, Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, taught at the University of Michigan, University of Toronto, and Adelphi University. He has authored scientific articles, chapters, edited books, and 2 volumes: Comparative-Integrative Psychoanalysis; and The Wrongful Conviction of Oscar Pistorius: Science Transforms our Comprehension of Reeva Steenkamp’s Shocking Death. His contributions have been honored with awards from The Ontario/Canadian/American Psychological Associations, The International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education, The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, The University of Chicago.