The Place of Dying in Psychoanalytic Theory
Presented by Harold Braswell, PhD
Thursdays March 24, 31 & April 7, 2022 at 7 P.M. / 4.5 Credits / $135 / Intermediate / location TBD
Neither death, nor life, but something in-between, “dying” is a tense and dynamic period, rich in its potential for psychoanalytic theorization and clinical growth. This three-session course will explore its difficult, tragic aspects, as well as the unseemly, at times inconceivable, opportunities that it awakens. We will begin with a consideration of dying as a state of transition marked by loss; we will then consider the role of mourning in helping individuals cultivate existential maturity in the face of death; and we will conclude by considering the problems raised by the death—both real and imagined—of the therapist. This is an introductory-level course, but readings will be recommended for students with a more advanced background in psychoanalytic thought. It is open for clinicians, researchers or anyone interested in the topic.
Questions? Contact us at 314-361-7075 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancellations will be accepted up to one week prior to the first session. Make check payable and send to St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute 7700 Clayton Rd, Ste 200, St. Louis, MO 63117
Objectives: The Place of “Dying” in Psychoanalytic Theory 1. Recognize “dying” as a unique point in the lifespan, in which the individual is in transition between life and death. 2. Describe some of the principle ways that psychoanalytic theorists have thought about dying. 3. Explain how, by engaging feelings of mourning and loss, dying can become a period of growth, development, and healing. Clinical Approaches to Working with Dying Patients 1. Recognize early life experience as it manifests at life’s end. 2. Utilize key psychoanalytic concepts—such as “existential maturity,” “transitional objects” and “mourning”—in working clinically with dying patients. 3. Assess different approaches for confronting the impact of dying on long-standing familial relationships. Dying as the Site of Fear and Fantasy 1. Recognize the role that previous experiences with dying play in psychodynamic conflict throughout life. 2. Analyze fantasies about dying that manifest in the clinical care of patients who are not dying themselves. 3. Describe Wilfred Bion’s view of the role that the infant’s “fear of dying” plays in the development of pathological experience later in life.