In Pursuit of Psychic Change: Selections from Members of the Betty Joseph Workshop
with Bernard Feinberg, MD
Betty Joseph influenced a generation of analysts in Britain and elsewhere through her writings and the decades-long post graduate seminar she conducted in London. The material for this course consists of articles written by participants in her seminar, each of whom has contributed to the literature in his or her own right. We’ll read first about the ‘excessively cooperative patient.’ And then about a man whose emotional defense was summed up in the cold idea ‘don’t let yourself love anybody, because they will suck you dry.’ The course will conclude with a paper about a 12-year-old boy that raises questions about the limits of psychic change. Although each author has a unique way of working, each paper develops Joseph’s idea that in any useful treatment, there tends to be a mutual interaction in which the treater is drawn into playing a part in the patient’s system of defenses.
For more information, contact us at 314-361-7075 x 361 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 63112
1. After reading Britton’s chapter, the student will be able to list related features of the patient who is “unrealistically free of discontent” and to describe the characteristic countertransference to which his complaisance gives rise.
2. In describing an overly cooperative patient, Britton observes, ‘…he thought about himself in order to avoid being himself.’ (page 79) The student will be able to explain this observation by clarifying the difference between the work of genuine self-observation and an activity that can easily pass for it, but which is actually used for the purpose of looking away from what one truly, subjectively believes.
3. After reading Spoto’s chapter, and drawing on details from her case, the student will be able to articulate the conclusion that a patient may live out in perverse enactments in the transference, and in life, the same attack on difference and reality that is expressed in the sexual perversion proper. (pages 124-131)
4. It will be possible to illustrate the dynamic in which the experience of human contact and loss is defended against by falling into a state of masochistic misery where one ruminates on the raw deals that life has served up.
5. After reading O’Shaughnessy’s account of her treatment of Hugh, the student will be able to narrate the outlines of the treatment from his initial psychotic panic, to his growing capacity to communicate symbolically (two-way traffic and his fear of a windblown tree that was stripped of its leaves) to his eventual hardened state in which he identified with Frankenstein.
6. The student will be able to describe the positive good his identification with a monster made possible for him and how, on the other hand, it functioned as an omnipotent and inflexible defense against the humiliation he felt in depending on an analyst he remained convinced was prideful.
Join us Wednesdays March 17, 24, 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
This program, when attended in its entirety, is offered for
4.5 Credits / Price: $135
Location: Virtual via Zoom