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Jan 27

Dr. Jessica Benjamin ~ Working with the Third in Mind

January 27, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

“Working with the Third in Mind: Finding the Third Between Us”

Guest Presenter: Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.


MORNING: “More Than One Can Live”: Reconceiving Harm and Reparation in the Intersubjective World
Presented by Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.

This presentation will juxtapose the intrapsychic idea of reparation, first developed by Klein and based on understanding unconscious anxieties of harming the love object, with the intersubjective ideas of repairing rupture and restoring recognition. From an intersubjective perspective, the “Moral Third” can be defined as a representation of a lawful world in which repair of attachment is possible, in particular by acknowledging the inevitable violations of expected patterns. Acknowledgment of injury and misrecognition thus become an essential element of repair, developmentally and therapeutically. When repair has failed historically, the need for acknowledgment may be imagined as destructive (destabilizing) to the needed other, who cannot tolerate failure to be good. Thus needing recognition of distress or being injured becomes conflated with injuring the other. This reframing of Kleinian formulations of complementarity would see enactments as governed by mutual fear of harming. The moral third might be a way to think about a position from which to metacommunicate about or step out of the fantasy involved in this deep complementary structure: the idea that only one can live.

AFTERNOON: Clinical Case presentation & discussion

This event is accredited as a 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

Learning Objectives

  • To make clinical use of the idea of intersubjective rupture and repair and understand its developmental origins.
  • The meaning and use of the idea of the moral Third and how it guides the therapist in clinical impasses that involve the “doer-done to” complementarity
  • 3. To evaluate and discern when acknowledgment and disclosure by the analyst are helpful, especially when there are problems of dissociation and shame.

Click here to download the full conference brochure.

Schedule for the day

10:00 am Introduction of speaker (Dr. Judi Kobrick)
10:10 am “More Than One Can Live”: Reconceiving Harm and Reparation in the Intersubjective World Dr. Jessica Benjamin
11:00 am Dialogue between audience and Dr. Benjamin
12:00 pm Lunch (on your own)
2:00 pm Clinical Case presentation & discussion Dr. Jessica Benjamin
3:00 pm Dialogue between audience and Dr. Benjamin
4:00 pm Closing remarks (Dr. Kobrick)


January 27, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Innis Town Hall Theatre
2 Sussex Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1J5 Canada
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