Dr. Adrienne Harris – Ghosts & Demons in the Consulting Room

Event Details

TICP Winter Conference: January 28, 2017

Guest Presenter: Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.

Ghosts and Demons in the 21st Century Consulting Rooms

DATE: Saturday,January 28, 2016

TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

LOCATION: University of Toronto, George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire Place, Toronto



Ghosts and Demons in the 21st century.

Dr. Harris will make a case for the use and value of these non-psychological terms: ghost and demon to consider difficult impasses and crises in analytic treatment. The presence and domination in many patients’ (and perhaps also analysts’) lives of the unprocessed losses of their own and earlier figures in their history is examined. These figures may be spectral, protective, persecutory, demonic, grotesque, demanding, or mostly present as absence. Clinical examples and the potency of ghosts and demons in cultural and institutional life will be explored.


The project of endless repair: the fate of damaged internal objects

This lecture will continue from the morning’s program on ghosts and demons, but will focus closely on one element in many haunted patients’ (and analysts’) minds, bodies and histories. Dr. Harris presents an argument developed by Henri Rey in a seminal paper on what patients bring to analysis: namely the need to change and repair the damaged internal objects – not exactly to change themselves. The impossibility and the necessity of repair in various treatments will be examined. The problem of repair in the analyst’s situation will also be considered.

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