The Baltimore Society for Psychoanalytic Studies
Paula Ellman, Ph.D. ABPP,
Nancy Goodman, Ph.D,
Harriet Basseches, Ph.D ABPP
Battling the Life and Death Forces of Sadomasochism: Clinical Perspectives
Sunday, October 6, 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: As clinicians we often find ourselves in the grip of a place of torture with our patients. Either we squirm because we are at the mercy of a patient’s sadistic attack on our analytic function, or we are bearing witness to the horror of a patient’s masochism, carrying the sadist within ourselves or suffering masochistically along with the patient. A life and death struggle is at the core of sadomasochism. The elements of the erotic sadomasochism, such as humiliation, domination, submission, merger, intense arousal, and ultimately orgasm, appear as intrapsychic conflict and in object relations representations. There is layering in the psychic organization such that the affects present in this sexual realm also relate, equivalently, to wishes, fantasies, and compromise formations. Since Freud first introduced us to the component instincts and psychosexual development, psychoanalysts have been studying and thinking about sadomasochism in its various forms, intensities and pervasiveness.
Our inquiry into the sadomasochism, particularly when the transference/ countertransference is the stage for the emergence of core issues of hate, need, contempt, and hurting love, has developed from a four year long study group into an edited book entitled Sadomasochism: Battling the Life and Death Forces of Sadomasochism: Clinical Perspectives, published by Karnac Press this summer 2013.
We will discuss how the repetition compulsion of the sadomasochism has arisen from the intersecting forces of conflict, trauma and adaptation. The sadomasochistic repetitions often lead the patient or clinician to withdraw, claiming therapeutic partnership impossible. The recognition of “psychic sadomasochism” opens the transference/countertransference arena where meaning can be discovered and movement out of the sadomasochistic hold is possible. The clinician’s access to and use of her sadistic and masochistic countertransference deepens the exploration of identifications with and submissions to the aggressor. Discussion of the development and unfolding of sadomasochism and in particular how to work in the transference/countertransference will be the focus.
The presentation and discussion will deepen the participants’ understanding about sadomasochism from a clinical theoretical perspective, expand current thinking on this challenging psychoanalytic topic, and allow for a more thorough perspective on the intersecting forces of developmental phase fantasies, conflicts, and traumas that will open therapeutic possibilities.
About the speakers: Paula L. Ellman, Ph.D., ABPP is a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Contemporary Freudian Society, Washington DC Program and the IPA (International Psychoanalytical Association). She is current chair of the training analyst committee and past institute director of the Washington Program of the Contemporary Freudian Society, in addition to being on the permanent faculty. She is a diplomate in psychoanalysis certified by the American Board of Psychoanalysis in Psychology (ABPsaP) and assistant clinical professor of psychology at The George Washington University Center for Professional Psychology. She has written and presented in the areas of femininity and female psychology, listening, enactment, terror, and sadomasochism. She has a private practice in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in North Bethesda, Maryland and Washington, DC.
Nancy R. Goodman, Ph.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Contemporary Freudian Society, Washington DC Program and the IPA (International Psychoanalytical Association). She is interested in unconscious fantasy, witnessing of individual and mass trauma, enactments, and psychoanalysis and film. She is the leader of a CIPS study group on enactments. Her most recent publications include: The Power of Witnessing: Reflections, Reverberations, and Traces of the Holocaust—Trauma Psychoanalysis, and the Living Mind (co-editor/writer with Marilyn B. Meyers, Routledge Press, 2012), Enactment: Opportunity for symbolising trauma (Ellman & Goodman, 2012) in A. Frosch (Ed.,) Absolute Truth and Unbearable Psychic Pain: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Concrete Experience, (Karnac, 2012), and editor of Psychoanalysis: Listening to Understand—Selected Papers of Arlene Kramer Richards, (IP Books, 2013). She maintains a psychoanalytic practice in Bethesda, MD.
Harriet I. Basseches, Ph.D., ABPP is a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Contemporary Freudian Society, Washington DC Program and the IPA (International Psychoanalytical Association), and a member of the CFS Permanent Faculty. She is a diplomate in psychoanalysis certified by the American Board of Psychoanalysis in Psychology (ABPsaP). She has held the following positions: president, the New York Freudian Society; president of the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS); trustee of the International Psychoanalytical Association. She has written and presented in the areas of femininity and female psychology, listening, enactment, terror, and sadomasochism. She has a private practice in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in Washington, DC.
Objectives: At the end of this program, participants will be able to:
1. Describe in depth the clinical issues in a sadomasochistic transference/countertransference.
2. Differentiate the forces and developmental dynamics in the sadomasochism of a negative therapeutic reaction.
3. Utilize a theoretical model to inform technical intervention in a sadomasochistic transference/countertransference stalemate.
4. Identify factors that help develop symbolization.
5. Identify the nuanced expressions of sadomasochism in the analytic exchange that might
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, www.BSPSmaryland.org, 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.
• $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 9/30/13.
Registration received after 9/30/13 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 Daphne Reinhart by phone: 410-665-3550 or email: contactbsps@BSPSmaryland.org