New Models of Bereavement Theory and Treatment: New Mourning – June 3rd, 6pm

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What I wish to convey at my workshop devoted to my book New Models of Bereavement Theory and Treatment: New Mourning is a new way of thinking about and treating experiences of mourning.  I myself have had much bereavement in my life and recognized that my experience was not consistent with the standard view of mourning. In addition in my clinical psychoanalytic practice I encountered many bereaved patients who mourned in unique and very personal ways. Eventually I realized that the standard assumptions about bereavement and mourning might be...

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Using Forward and Trailing Edge Perspectives in Working with Dyads

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why are the  “forward edge” and “trailing edge” important? While traditionally psychoanalysts focused on what was wrong with the patient, Heinz Kohut, the founder of Self Psychology, focused instead on listening to his patient’s inner experience.  Listening this way, he heard patients’ strivings which he came to understand as the developmentally forward-looking selfobject transference.  More recently, Marian Tolpin labeled these strivings the “forward edge” and encouraged working with the “tendrils” of the forward edge hidden...

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Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy – March 18th, 6pm – 8pm

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Why is focusing on trauma so important for today’s therapists?  All you have to do is pick up a newspaper or  glance at your smartphone to be reminded that trauma is everywhere in our world.  And its hard to imagine that any of us who choose this tough way to make a living haven’t experienced trauma in one form or another.  I hope you’ll come to our workshop on March 18th so that we can talk about how being a trauma survivor affects our work with patients. Posted by Doris...

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Applying Kohut’s Major Contributions to the Treatment of Parents and Children – February 19, 2016

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We all know the tender and sometimes fraught dance between parent and child that shapes the family relationship as well as each individual within it.  When each person’s hopes align with the other’s there is great opportunity for developmental leaps in the child and great satisfaction for the parent.   When dreads are in the foreground, or when trauma intervenes, everyone suffers.  Imagine the emotional and psychological strain on a mother and her son when the attack on the World Trade Center claimed the life of husband and father. In the...

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On the Therapeutic Action – November 13, 2015

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In most forms of psychotherapy the therapeutic action has been tied to the provision of insight. In classical psychoanalysis it is interpretation in the service of resolving transference that is thought to be therapeutic.   Even Kohut, when defining what is curative in self psychology, resorted to the tried and true, meaning the provision of insight. Self psychology cures, he argued, by providing interpretations of what he referred  to as the disruption-repair cycle.  Insight is offered in the form of “understanding  explanations” of how the...

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The Intersubjective Field – October 30, 2015

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What is the intersubjective field?  Through the lens of intersubjectivity, we understand that our own subjectivity is a part of the patient’s world, and the interplay of the two subjectivities becomes the focus of empathic and sensitive exploration.  No longer a one-person intrapsychic psychology, we are now exploring the field created by two subjectivities. Through this perspective, treatment expands in a fluid, creative and multidimensional manner. Intersubjective self psychologists enter the patient’s world with an empathy that is not only...

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The Selfobject Transferences – October 9, 2015

Posted by on Oct 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Is there a concept more central to Kohut’s Self Psychology than the selfobject transference?  Hard to imagine.  The notion of the selfobject transference revolutionized our understanding of transference, turning our focus from interpretation of distortion and displacement to facilitation of renewed development.  Working from an empathic perspective, the analyst attuned to selfobject experience responds to the patient’s yearning to find in the analytic relationship a pattern of relating that fills in missing pieces from...

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Intersubjective Self Psychology I: Empathy – More Than Just Kindness – September 25, 2015

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Empathy at the center of self psychological treatment? Revolutionary! Intersubjective Self Psychologists aspire to understand the patient from within her or his own world.   When we do this things begin to make sense and we can understand motivations and resistances, interpersonal problems and symptoms in a way that can more deeply reach our patients; the result is a greater potential to create change.  Although many psychoanalysts use empathy to understand their patients, the self psychologist focuses on it, speaking from within the...

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Integrating the Irrationality of Wide-Scale Trauma: Results of a Self-Psychological Research Study – September 18, 2015

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What does your involvement in trauma mean to you? Do you think it was somehow “meant to be?” For some survivors, the meaning of trauma centers around its irrationality or absurdity. Please join Koichi Togashi and me in a discussion of these aspects of trauma. We’d like to tell you about our self-psychological study of survivors of the 9-11 terrorist attacks and discuss our ideas about the irrational and absurd meanings of trauma.  We’ll also review recent trends in the psychoanalytic understanding of trauma that support our approach. And...

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Kohut’s Twinship Across Cultures: The Psychology of Being Human by Koichi Togashi and Amanda Kottler

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

At the end of his life, Kohut articulated the twinship experience, which has become a cornerstone of self psychology.  But, I believe, it has been insufficiently conceptualized.  In Kohut’s Twinship Across Cultures:  The Psychology of Being Human, Amanda Kottler and I reflect on the twinship experience and develop it further.  Picking up where Kohut left off, we illustrate a new and very different sensitivity to understanding psychoanalytic relational processes and ideas about human existential anguish, trauma, and the meaning of life. ...

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