THE INTERNAL WORLD, PSYCHIC FANTASY, AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE PSYCHIC SELF

Instructor: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NCPsyA
Date: 1/13/22 – 3/17/22 (Thursdays), 8:40pm‑9:55pm
Location: Virtual Live (via gotomeeting platform)
Continuing Education Information: Pending
Tuition: $450/10-week course/trimester (can be paid in 2 installments)
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for ORI’s candidates in training)

To Register for this course, please complete the Registration form

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course will explore theoretical and clinical papers related to the individual’s internal world. Psychic fantasy will be seen to be the key to understanding the pathological arrest, and the developmental advance of the subjective self, as it emerges from unconscious phenomena. Modes of defensive walling-off, splitting, projection, and projective-identification will be seen with characterological symptoms. Joyce McDougall’s “Theaters of the Mind” will serve as an entry way to these studies.

Dissociation will be discussed as it is presented in hysteroid, psychosomatic, pseudo-neurotic, diffuse anxiety, and depressive phenomena. The origins of psychic fantasy in the psychodynamic internal world of Melanie Klein will be seen in the original Klein 1940 paper “Mourning, and Its Relation to Manic Depressive States.”

The course will interweave fuller case studies on developmental mourning with the shorter clinical vignettes given as theoretical explanations of and by the original theorists mentioned. These fuller case studies will illustrate the dialectics of intrapsychic fantasy and patient-psychoanalyst interactions along the lines of transference evolution, as well as the developmental evolution of psychic fantasy, as new internalizations take place with character-disordered patients. The actual patient-analyst dialogues will be vividly displayed in the long term psychoanalytic object relations cases of developmental mourning.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

At the end of this course, its participants will be able to:

  • Analyze how early infant attachments create an internal world that can be experienced as a “theater of the mind”
  • Compare the neurotic and psychotic in the internal world experience.
  • Compare the false and true aspects of the self and internal world experience.
  • Analyze how the early parental environment causes splitting of the self and the internal objects or part objects.
  • Analyze how the hysteric manifests hysteroid phenomena.
  • Contrast hysteroid visceral psychodynamics with psychosomatic phenomena.
  • Analyze how the wish to “eat the mother” may lie behind pseudo-genital sexual desires.
  • Contrast Alexithymia and the “alive” affect.
  • Analyze how Narcissistic Personality Disorder relates to the primal mother’s failure to contain the terror of annihilation in her infant.
  • Analyze how the mother’s incapacity for “reverie” (in Bion’s sense) disrupts the “going on being” (Winnicott) of the infant.
  • Analyze how hostile fantasies in the internal world can be a component of mourning as illustrated by Melanie Klein in “Mourning and Its Relation to Manic Depressive States.”
  • Analyze how dreams play a major role in a clinical progression towards the capacity to surrender to a grief and mourning process.
  • Analyze how primal trauma and oral rape interact in the “Case of Lois,” with the symbolism of Snails.
  • Analyze how narcissistic compulsions in the “Case of Lois” can be modified into creative functioning, when primal trauma can be mourned, and primal rage understood.
  • Analyze how erotic fantasies and protosymbolic enactment in “The Case of Laura” can be transformed through a “developmental mourning” process into symbolic level functioning.
  • Analyze how both eroticized transference and negative transference play a role in self-integration in the “Case of Laura.”

COURSE OUTLINE:

For the Weeks 1 through 5, mandatory readings will be from Theaters of the Mind: Illusion and Truth on Psychoanalytic Stage by Joyce McDougall:

Weeks 1:

Prologue: The Psychic Theater and the Psychoanalytic Stage (pp. 3–16)
Chapter 1: Static and Ec-static States: Reflections on the Psychoanalytic Process (pp. 17–39)

Weeks 2:

Chapter 2: Scenes from psychic Life (pp. 40–64)
Chapter 3: The Transitional Theater and the Search for Players (pp. 65–80)

Week 3:

Chapter 4: The Staging of the Irrepresentable: “A Child is Being Eaten” (pp. 81–106)
Chapter 5: Psychosomatic States, Anxiety Neurosis, and Hysteria (pp. 107–124)

Week 4:

Chapter 6: Elaboration and Transformation of the Psychic Repertory (pp. 125–146)
Chapter 7: Reflections on Affect: A Psychoanalytic View of Alexithymia (pp. 147–179)
Chapter 8: From Psychosomatosis to Psychoneurosis (pp. 180–213)

Week 5:

Chapter 9: Theater in the Round: Thoughts on the Economy of Narcissism (pp. 214–227).
Chapter 10: The Narcissistic Stage and the Role of Archaic Sexuality (228–244).
Chapter 11: Neosexualities (pp. 245–263).
Chapter 12: Scenes of Fantasy, Delusion, and Death (pp. 264–283).
Epilogue: Illusion and Truth (pp. 284–288).

Week 6:

Klein, M. (1940). Mourning and its relation to manic depressive states. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 21, 125–153.

Week 7:

Winnicott, D.W. (1958). The capacity to be alone. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 39, 416–420.

Week 8:

Kavaler-Adler, S. (1996/2014). The creative mystique: From Red Shoes frenzy to love and creativity. ORI Academic Press. Originally published by Routledge (1996).
Chapter 1: The Case of Lois, Part 1: Red Shoes frenzy, mystique, and the creative compulsion (pp. 243–270).
Chapter 2: The Case of Lois, Part 2: Healing and movement towards the love-creativity dialectic (pp. 271–294).

Week 9:

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2003). Mourning, spirituality, and psychic change: A new object relations view of psychoanalysis. Routledge.
Chapter 1: The Case of Laura (part 1).

Week 10:

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2003). Mourning, spirituality, and psychic change: A new object relations view of psychoanalysis. Routledge.
Chapter 2: The Case of Laura (part 2).

INSTRUCTOR’S BIO:

Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, D.Litt., NCPsyA is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, who has been in practice in Manhattan for 45 years. She is a Fellow of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis, and is the Founder and Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.  She is a Training Analyst, Senior Supervisor and active faculty member at the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, a NYS Board of Regents chartered psychoanalytic training institute.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler has an honorary doctorate in literature, and she is a prolific author, with published six books and over 70 articles and book chapters in the field of object relations psychoanalytic theory. Five of her six published books related to clinical object relations theories are The Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: Transformative New Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory (Karnac, 2014); The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies (Karnac, 2013); Mourning, Spirituality and Psychic Change: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2003; Gradiva® Award from NAAP, 2004); The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes Frenzy to Love and Creativity (Routledge, 1996; ORI Academic Press 2014; Gradiva® Award nomination); The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers (Routledge, 1993; ORI Academic Press, 2013). Dr. Kavaler-Adler received 16 awards for her psychoanalytic writing. She is also on the editorial board of the International Journal of Controversial Conversations (IJCC). In addition, Dr. Kavaler-Adler conducts ongoing groups in her practice, such as a monthly writing group, a monthly online experiential supervision group, and a monthly “Mourning, Therapy, and Support Group” with guided visualization. More information can be found at https://kavaleradler.com/.

REGISTRATION AND FEES:

Tuition: $450/10-week course/trimester (can be paid in 2 installments)
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for ORI’s candidates in training)

SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS are available for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for retired or disabled practitioners, or need-based. 

You can request scholarship using this form

CANCELLATION POLICY:
Refund in full is offered for cancellations made before or on the day of the 1st class (January 13, 2022). 70% refund of the tuition fees is offered for cancellations made on the day of the 2nd class (January 20, 2022). No refunds for cancellations made on or after the 3rd class (January 27, 2022), but credit can be applied for any of the educational events offered at the ORI in 2022 or further on.

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