There will be four plenary sessions during the conference.
Evolving Perspectives on the Selfobject Transference
James M. Fisch, MD; Peter Buirski, PhD, ABPP; and Amy Eldridge, PhD
Susana Federici-Nebbiosi, PhD
This panel will analyze contemporary and divergent perspectives on the selfobject transference as a core component of analytic treatment will be offered in response to a case presentation depicting the complexity of the transference as it emerges and evolves within the therapeutic process.
Dr. Fisch will analyze Dr. Eldridge's case material as it offers an opportunity to explore the question: Does Heinz Kohut's original analytic concept of selfobject transference help us to understand and treat the apparently pre-analytic, or anti-analytic patient?
Dr. Buirski will analyze Dr. Eldridge's rich clinical material as it allows us to examine some interesting questions about the contextualizing of the intersubjective field in which this relationship occurs.
Richard Geist, EdD and Jodie Messler-Davies, PhD
Ronald A. Bodansky, PhD
Dr. Geist's paper will discuss the value of connectedness - the feeling of being a felt presence in another's life - in our every day clinical work. Emphasizing Heinz Kohut's frequently forgotten conceptualization of how analyst and patient experience each other as a part of their respective selfs, the paper demonstrates how each person's total responsiveness, including his or her selfobject functions, empathy, and subjectivity, coalesce to form a wholistic tapestry that cannot be experientially separated. Using clinical vignettes, the paper demonstrates how experiencing oneself as part of another's self affects the analyst's listening perspective, organization of clinical material, and the way we speak in the interpretative mode.
Dr. Messler-Davies description to be posted at a later date.
Evolving Perspectives on Interpretation
Shelley R. Doctors, PhD and Anna Ornstein, MD
Jill R. Gardner, PhD
Over the course of the 25 years since Kohut's death, there has been a radical expansion of our understanding of both the meaning and the place of interpretation in our work. While the dialogue has often been cast in terms of opposites - interpretation vs. relationship; insight vs. experience; the cognitive vs. the affective; the verbal and explicit vs. the non-verbal, procedural, and implicit - we have come to understand that any verbal interpretation is laden with relational, affective, and procedural meaning, that it occurs in an intersubjectively constituted relational context, and that much new understanding is communicated and perceived outside of awareness altogether, by both partners in the therapeutic dialogue. In this panel, Anna Ornstein will explore these developments in a paper entitled, aptly enough, "Do Words Still Matter?" Dr. Ornstein will outline her current thinking on the concept of "speaking in the interpretive mode," with a particular focus on how these ideas relate to dealing with the complex defensive structures present in severe personality disorders. Shelley Doctors will then bring an intersubjective focus to the discussion with a paper entitled, "Interpretation as a Relational Process." Dr. Doctors will emphasize the indivisibility of the cognitive and affective domains and the patterning and transformation of emotional experience in specific intersubjective fields. Case material will be used to illustrate concepts in both papers and the panel structure will allow time for dialogue between both the panelists and the audience.
Forms and Transformations of Narcissism
Frank Lachmann, PhD and Carlo Strenger, PhD
Estelle Shane, PhD
Dr. Strenger's paper presentation will describe the problem of maintaining self-esteem in a global culture. It argues that the high incidence of depression and anxiety derives from the cultural assumption of endless possibilities generated in the Global Cities (i.e. the cities that are the nodes of the global economy). Almost every realistic achievement is dwarfed by the skyrocketing success stories related in the media. I will give some suggestions on therapeutic mentoring techniques that can help people find a more stable sense of self in this global context.
Dr. Lachmann's paper presentation will take a new look at the process through which "archaic narcissism" is engaged in therapeutic treatment. In a multi-media presentation, from the vantage- point of self- and interactive regulation, expectancies, and violations of expectations, the process of transformation is depicted as bidirectional and an intrinsic dimension of the ongoing analyst-patient relationship.
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