Invites you to
“The Troubled Couple”
Psychoanalytic Reflections on the Negative Union
Friday, April 30th 2021 at 12 noon – 1 pm EDT
9 – 10 am PDT
Robin Raina Benjamin, PsyA, LCSW
Alter Yisrael Shimon Feuerman, PsyD, LCSW
One of the most challenging areas in psychotherapy is to work with those who feel enslaved in a negative, unhappy bond. That bond could be with a spouse, a child, a parent, even between patient and therapist. At some point, a crazy life-taking, life-giving bond crystallizes, grows tenacious (Eigen) and is fueled and sustained by the damaged self.
This can start early. A young woman in our supervision group, a first grade teacher, described a small child in her class who habitually steals from her classmates and teacher. Interventions were effective behaviorally, but to heal her will take much longer. The girl can only signal her distress via the damaged bonds in which she is ensconced.
Often people who are stuck, will actually crave a harmonious connection but have been thwarted their whole lives. They reach for healing, but they are embedded in a damaged bond. (Eigen) They seek help from the therapist to create what Balint called a harmonious mix-up instead of the perforated connections they know.
Nevertheless, opposing forces may prevail. Paradoxically, there is more life in illness than in health for some, and one may perversely choose illness as a preferred form of life -- even the treatment itself may become infected. Only a therapist mad in her loving and great in her skill has a chance to succeed.
Few are the therapists who can go it alone when working with the negative bond. It often takes waves of life and love from colleagues to penetrate and resolve and even stay psychically alive through such challenges. One enters into a hell with such patients – a hell with no hope for heaven. (Eigen)
Yet compassion seeps into the damaged self drip, drop -- compassion for the patient, for the therapist, for all of creation.
Robin Raina Benjamin, PsyA, LCSW will present on “the damaged self” in the pre-analytic phase
Alter Yisrael Shimon Feuerman, PsyD, LCSW will present on “how to allow hope to die so it can be reborn.”
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It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster to not be found -- Winnicott
*Ncaps is co-directed by Robin R. Benjamin, PsyA, LCSW and Simon Yisrael Feuerman, PsyD, LCSW. We provide modern psychoanalysis education and supervision via telephone and in-person.
*Robin Benjamin, PsyA, LCSW is a modern analyst in practice in Key Biscayne, FL and co-director of NCAPS. www.robinrainabenjamin.com
Alter Yisrael Shimon Feuerman, PsyD, LCSW is based in Passaic, NJ. he is a novelist and essayist. A portion of his writings can be found here
On the seashore of endless worlds, we play -- Tagore