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Mar 6

A Day with Steven Cooper, Ph.D. ~ Playing and Becoming in Psychoanalysis

March 6, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Playing and Becoming in Psychoanalysis

Guest Presenter: Steven Cooper, Ph.D.

Event held online via Zoom videoconference. Login details will be provided to all registrants.

Morning Session:
The Limit of Intimacy and the Intimacy of Limit: The Emergence of Play in Relation to the Analyst and to Internal Objects.

The refractoriness of the bad object (Fairbairn, 1943; 1958) has remained a durable clinical problem and to some extent under-theorized among psychoanalysts. Through an extended clinical example, this paper examines how the experience of limit is part of an undercurrent within the object relation between patient and analyst, that, in turn, sometimes gives rise to a shift in the patient’s relationship to an unsatisfying internal object relation.


Afternoon Session:
The Play of Mourning
In the density of psychic regression and progression, psychoanalytic play is able to help patients move toward grieving internal objects. Play occurs at a moment of dawning awareness of transference-countertransference enactment within both patient and analyst. Often these moments especially involve the analyst’s new awareness of his or her own resistance to understanding transference-countertransference enactments. Through a series of brief clinical vignettes and analysis of a poem by Elizabeth Bishop, the author examines how patient and analyst become better able to acquire an “internal environment” (Winnicott, 1954), one in which they try to face the profound disappointment of grieving these objects.


This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone. This program meets the criteria for 4 CME credits.

This program has been approved by the Ontario Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists and psychological associates. This program meets the criteria for 4 continuing education credits.

Learning Objectives

  • To broaden the participant’s thinking about how the concept of limit related to elements of play in the analytic situation;
  • To help develop the participant’s ability to consider play in the context of transference-countertransference engagement;
  • To facilitate the participant’s ability to conceptualize how play facilitates the mourning process in psychoanalytic process.

Click here to download the full conference brochure.

Schedule for the day

10:00 am Introduction of speaker (Dr. Judi Kobrick)
10:10 am “The Limit of Intimacy and the Intimacy of Limit” Dr. Steven Cooper
11:00 am Dialogue between audience and Dr. Cooper
12:00 pm Lunch (on your own)
1:00 pm “The Play of Mourning” Dr. Steven Cooper
2:00 pm Audience Discussion and dialogue with Dr. Cooper
3:00 pm Closing remarks (Dr. Kobrick)


March 6, 2021
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


online via Zoom


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