Fall Conference – The Schizoid Defense of Relentless Despair: A Heart Shattered and the Private Self by Martha Stark, MD

3 CE Credits

Patients who have never fully confronted – and grieved – the pain of their early-on heartbreak cling to their hope that perhaps, someday, the “object of their desire” will be forthcoming. But there are others who, because of catastrophically shattering early-on disappointments and losses, withdraw from the “world of objects” – only to find themselves then overwhelmed with a terrifying sense of alienation, existential angst, and harrowing loneliness. Instead of “relentless hope,” they experience “relentless despair.” Clinical vignettes will be offered that speak to how the therapist, ever attuned to the patient’s intense ambivalence about “remaining hidden vs. being found”, can facilitate the emergence of “moments of authentic meeting” that will restore purpose, meaning, and direction to an existence that was otherwise desolate, impenetrable, and empty.

Learning Objectives:
After this intermediate/advanced presentation, participants will be able to:
1. Highlight the distinction between 1-person and 2-person defenses.
2. Explain the nature of the patient’s ambivalence about “remaining hidden” vs. “being found”.
3. Describe the relationship between the patient’s “private self” and her “false self”.

Martha Stark, MD, is Faculty, Harvard Medical School; Co-Director / Faculty, Center for Psychoanalytic Studies; Faculty, Psychiatry Redefined; Faculty / Scientific Advisory Board, Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine; Adjunct Faculty, William James College and Smith College School for Social Work; and Former Faculty, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. Martha is the author of seven critically acclaimed psychotherapy books – award-winning mandatory reading at psychoanalytic training institutes and in psychodynamic psychotherapy programs both in the U.S. and abroad. Board Certified by the American Association of Integrative Medicine, Martha has contributed chapters to integrative medicine textbooks and articles to peer-reviewed toxicology journals.



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Date(s) - November 4, 2017
8:30 am - 12:00 pm

The Hope Club (please no jeans/sneakers)
6 Benevolent St.
Providence, RI

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