Workshop: When Psychoanalytic Theory Meets the Body

24. september 2021 25. september 2021

When Psychoanalytic Theory Meets the Body: Re-envisioning, Transference, Repression/Dissociation and Resistance

A 2-Day Workshop by Jon Sletvold and Doris Brothers

In this workshop we bring the body-based perspective we are developing in our forthcoming book, Talking Bodies, to some of the most enduring aspects of psychoanalytic theory. The result is not only that the theory changes, but also that practice, training and supervision are re-envisioned. A central theme that runs through our work is that mind, from birth on, involves the creation of narratives based on embodied memories.

We will intersperse verbal dialogues with embodied exercises throughout and provided opportunities for embodied supervision.

Main topics

A Body-Based View of Transference

Ever since Freud’s earliest efforts to develop his theory of transference, memory has played a key role. Narratives, and the embodied non-verbal memories on which they are based, are central to a new understanding of transference. When viewed from the perspective of the ever-changing memories of both patient and therapist, transference is seen as a shifting flow of I, you, we and world. We propose that it is only in the context of trauma that transferences become rigidified.

A Body-Based View of Repression/Dissociation

Freud’s earliest attempt to deal with gaps in his patients’ verbal narratives gave rise to his concept of repression, which he regarded as the cornerstone of his entire theory.  In the 1890s he believed that patients’ memories of actual traumas that were too painful or embarrassing to be kept in conscious awareness were dissociated and replaced by symptoms. In 1897 he renounced his trauma theory and proposed that memories were repressed because they were associated with conflictual forbidden sexual impulses. In recent years dissociation has largely replaced repression. However, from a body-based perspective, dissociation exists only to the extent that pertains to traumatic memories that cannot be given verbal expression. When embodied memories are viewed as always present what has been called the dissociation-enactment model is profoundly changed.

A Body-Based View of Resistance

What makes therapeutic change so difficult? We propose that the freedom to change can be terrifying. When trauma is viewed from a body-based perspective it becomes clear that what has been called resistance often involves fear of losing one’s connections to all that is needed for one’s psychological well-being. When efforts are made to deepen the we-connectedness of patient and therapist, the fear of change is reduced for both therapeutic partners as a feeling of safety to experience all emotions develops. Illustrative clinical examples will be presented.

Doris Brothers, Ph.D. is a co-founder and faculty member of the Training and Research in Intersubjective Self Psychology Foundation (TRISP). She was co-editor with Roger Frie of Psychoanalysis, Self and Context from 2015-2019 and chief editor of eForum, the online newsletter of the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP). She serves on the advisory board and council of IAPSP. Her books include: Toward a Psychology of Uncertainty: Trauma-Centered Psychoanalysis (2008), Falling Backwards: An Exploration of Trust and Self-Experience (1995), and with Richard Ulman, The Shattered Self: A Psychoanalytic Study of Trauma (1988). She works in private practice in New York and Oslo.

Jon Sletvold, Psy.D. , is a licensed specialist in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. He is founding board director and faculty member at the Norwegian Character Analytic Institute. He is co-editor with Marianne Børstad of two books: Den terapeutiske dansen [The therapeutic dance] and Karakteranalytiske dialoger [Character analytic dialogues] and the editor of Tage Philipson – Kjærlighet og identifisering [Tage Philipson – Love and Identification]. He is the author of The Embodied Analyst: From Freud and Reich to Relationality,2014, winner of the Gradiva Award 2015 for best psychoanalytic book. With Per Harbitz he co-authored Fra musklepanser til kropper i dialog – Da Reich kom til Norge og det som skjedde etterpå … [From Muscular Armor to Bodies in Dialogue – When Reich came to Norway and what happened afterwards …], 2019.

Kr4000

    Registration form

    Norsk Karakteranalytisk Institutt

    41256600

    View Arrangør Website

    Norsk Karakteranalytisk Institutt

    Gjerdrums vei 19
    Oslo, 0484 Norge
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    41256600
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    Workshop: Talking bodies

    Jon Sletvold and Doris Brothers, in collaboration with Norsk Karakteranalytisk Institutt, will arrange the workshop «Talking bodies: Practice and Supervision from a Body-Based Perspective» in Oslo on August 28-29, 2020.

    Talking bodies

    Practice and Supervision from a Body-Based Perspective

    Jon Sletvold and Doris Brothers

    Zoom/online, August 28-29, 2020 (from 13:00 both days)

    In this two-day workshop theoretical presentations will be followed by demonstrations and exercises designed to help participants explore the topics covered. They will then be invited to discuss their experiences.

     

    Main topics:

    A New Understanding of Trauma: From Dissociation-Enactment to the Fracturing of Embodied Wholeness

    We will invite participants to join us in developing our understanding of traumatic experiences making use of contributions from self psychology, relational psychoanalytic theory and the work of the Boston Change Process Study Group. People who are relatively well-functioning and free from ongoing trauma tend to experience a rhythmic flow in their sensing of themselves, others, and themselves in connection to others. As we will show with clinical examples, in the aftermath of trauma this flow tends to disintegrate. We will demonstrate the benefits of using a psychotherapeutic language based on the sensing of “I,” “you,” and “we”.

     

    The Emotional Expression of the Body: How We Perceive One Another

    Our bodily appearance was at the heart of Reich´s character analytic work. Unfortunately it has become a largely neglected aspect of psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic work. We will suggest that it is only when embodiment is a central theoretical concern that the importance of how we appear to one another becomes relevant. We will try to show that while we may imagine that we consistently perceive other peoples’ appearance in a static unchanging way, many factors alter the way we actually perceive them. We will explain that the continually changing emotional context subtly changes our perceptions of one another. Traumatic experiences often lead either to dramatic alterations in our perceptions of others or to our resolutely clinging to an unchanging perception of them.

     

    The Patient´s Experience of the Therapist: First Meetings with Freud – and Fromm

    In the hope of demonstrating the powerful impact of therapists’ bodily appearance on their patients, we will look at how two patients–The Wolf-Man and Hilda Doolittle–experienced their first meetings with Freud. While not wishing to minimize the importance of the words first exchanged by the therapeutic couple, we will try to show that their impact is largely shaped by the feelings for one another that are generated by their inter-bodily perceptions.

     

    Embodied supervision
    Attendees will get the opportunity to participate in embodied supervision exercises. The whole group will be invited to take part in the embodied supervision process.

     


     

    Doris Brothers, Ph.D. is a co-founder and faculty member of the Training and Research in Intersubjective Self Psychology Foundation (TRISP). She was co-editor with Roger Frie of Psychoanalysis, Self and Context from 2015-2019 and chief editor of eForum, the online magazine of the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP). She serves on the advisory board and council of IAPSP. Her books include: Toward a Psychology of Uncertainty: Trauma-Centered Psychoanalysis (2008), Falling Backwards: An Exploration of Trust and Self-Experience (1995), with Richard Ulman, The Shattered Self: A Psychoanalytic Study of Trauma (1988). She is in private practice in Manhattan, New York, USA.

    Jon Sletvold, Psy.D. , is a licensed specialist in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. He is founding board director and faculty member at the Norwegian Character Analytic Institute. He is co-editor with Marianne Børstad of two books: Den terapeutiske dansen [The therapeutic dance] and Karakteranalytiske dialoger [Character analytic dialogues] and the editor of Tage Philipson – Kjærlighet og identifisering [Tage Philipson – Love and Identification]. He is the author of The Embodied Analyst: From Freud and Reich to Relationality, 2014, winner of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis Gradiva Award 2015. With Per Harbitz he co-authored, 2019 Fra musklepanser til kropper i dialog – Da Reich kom til Norge og det som skjedde etterpå … [From Muscular Armor to Bodies in Dialogue – When Reich came to Norway and what happened afterwards …].

      Registration form

      Talking bodies: Practice and Supervision from a Body-Based Perspective

      Jon Sletvold and Doris Brothers

      In this two-day workshop theoretical presentations will be followed by demonstrations and exercises designed to help participants explore the topics covered. They will then be invited to discuss their experiences.

      Due to the corona, this workshops will take place online. You can attend from home in front of your own screen, take the opportunity to gather more participants at your home, or we will meet at the institute with a big screen.

      The fee has been reduced from NOK. 4,000, – to kr. 2,000, – for each participant. The workshops will be 2 x 2 hours both days, with an hour break in between.

      Those who already are registered will be able to withdraw or refund the excess if they wish to participate online.

      Date: August 28-29, 2020 (from 13:00 both days)
      Place: Online
      Price: 2 000 kroner

      Fortsett å lese «Talking bodies: Practice and Supervision from a Body-Based Perspective»

      Workshop: Developments in Embodied Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

      Doris Brothers and Jon Sletvold

      In this two-day workshop theoretical presentations will be followed by demonstrations and exercises designed to help participants explore the topics covered and then to discuss their experiences.

      Date: August 30 and 31, 2019
      From 09:00 to 16:00 both days (lunch 12-13)
      Place: Norsk Karakteranalytisk Institutt
      Price: 3 500 kroner

      Fortsett å lese «Workshop: Developments in Embodied Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy»