BSPS Conference with Leon Wurmser, MD, PhD on Sunday, January 27th, 2013

The Baltimore Society for Psychoanalytic Studies


Leon Wurmser, M.D., Ph.D.

Nothing Good is Allowed to Stand: An Integrative View of the Negative Therapeutic Relationship

Sunday, January 27, 2013


9:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast, Sign In and Registration
10:00 a.m.  – 1:00 p.m. Presentation
Sheppard Pratt Conference Center
6501 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21285


Program Description: When working with patients with severe neuroses, one very often has to cope with the “negative therapeutic reaction”:  that every progress in the analytic or therapeutic work is paradoxically followed by a clinical deterioration. There are a number of dynamic factors that converge in bringing about this clinical phenomenon. Foremost among them are: many layered guilt and shame, the role of envy and jealousy, attachment to negative affects, turning trauma from passive to active, conflicts within the superego, fear of gratitude, and the defensive use of omnipotence of responsibility. This presentation will review literature related to the negative therapeutic relationship and present some clinical vignettes.


About the speaker:  Léon Wurmser, M.D., PhD (Humboldt U.,Berlin), author: The Hidden Dimension (Aronson, 1978), The Mask of Shame (Aronson, 1981), The Power of the Inner Judge (Aronson, 2000), Flight from Conscience (Springer, 1987),The Riddle of Masochism (Springer, 1993), Magic Transformation and Tragic Transformation (Vandenhoeck, 1999), Values and Ideas of Judaism in Psychoanalytic View (Vandenhoeck, 2001); Torment me, but don’t abandon me! (Jason Aronson, 2007); Jealousy and Envy. New views about two powerful emotions (together with Dr. Heidrun Jarass; publ. Analytic Press, 2007) ; Shame and the evil eye (Kohlhammer, 2011); and “Nothing  good is allowed to stand” – An integrative view of the negative therapeutic reaction (together with Dr. Heidrun Jarass; published Analytic Press, 2007). He is the recipient of the Egnér, and JAPA Prizes. He is also a Contemporary Freudian Society Training and Supervising Analyst and has a private practice in Towson, MD.  He teaches regularly in Europe.

Objectives:  At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the aftereffects of traumatization as it manifests in self-directed aggressions of the superego and in the claim of omnipotence of responsibility;
  2. Explain the “negative therapeutic reaction” in terms of masochism, the prohibition of anything “good”, and the role of intrapsychic conflicts between opposing values and loyalties;
  3. Describe the role of envy, jealousy, and resentment directed against the self in the superego, as manifest in the “inner object”, the “inner judge”;
  4. Discuss ways of dealing with the negative therapeutic reaction when it manifests in the transference and countertransference, while also considering the role of the “real” relationship.


Who Should Attend?  Mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, pastoral counselors) and persons with an interest in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic thinking and application.

CE Credits:  CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance and completed evaluation forms.  Attendance is monitored.  Credit will not be granted to registrants who arrive late, or depart early.  Credit will be granted to participants who submit a completed evaluation form at the end of the session.  It is the responsibility of participants to comply with these requirements.  Upon completion of this program, participants will be given 3 CE credits.  This program is being co-sponsored by The Contemporary Freudian Society (CFS).  CFS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education programs for psychologists.  The Contemporary Freudian Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  Baltimore Society of Psychoanalytic Studies is recognized by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners as a sponsor of continuing education activities. 

Registration:  In order to register, please visit our website,, and fill out our online registration form.  Make checks payable to Baltimore Society for Psychoanalytic Studies and mail to:  

BSPS, PO Box 20910, Baltimore, MD 21209-0910. 

Program fees are non refundable.

Pre-registration fees:

  • $35 BSPS and CFS members
  • $60 Non-members
  • $5 Full-time student members
  • $15 Full-time student non-members

*Pre-registration fees apply only if payment is received by 1/22/13.

Registration received after 1/22/13 or at the door: 

  • $45 BSPS and CFS members
  • $70 Non-members
  • $15 Full-time student members
  • $25 Full-time student non-members


Important disclosure information:  None of the planners and presenters of this CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Contact:  For additional information, please contact Elizabeth Scott  via email: or call: 410-665-3550. 

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