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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

29th Annual Symposium (2004) - Love

Moderator's Introduction:

In his paper “Civilization and its Discontents,” Freud wrote, “the communal life of human beings had, therefore, a two-fold foundation: the compulsion to work, which was created by external necessity, and the power of love.…” Many patients who consult with psychotherapists and psychoanalysts often present with difficulties, either in their work and professional lives or unhappiness in their personal relationships. When we see patients who are suffering because they have not been able to develop sustained, loving relationships with others, we are curious about, and interested in, understanding the factors contributing to this problem. Not loving oneself enough, loving oneself too much, fear of intimately loving another person, and the inability to bring together sensual and affectionate feelings in one relationship are but a few examples of the issues facing clinicians in their offices. This symposium is designed to help us all learn more about these issues as they occur in the therapeutic dyad. We will hear detailed clinical presentations from two sophisticated and sensitive psychoanalysts, as well as a rich discussion of this material. Ample time has been provided for comments from the audience, so that the symposium becomes truly interactive.

Marc Chagall said, “In our life, there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.” We hope to learn more, on February 28, about what we, as clinicians, can do to make this color richer and brighter, both in the treatment setting and in the lives of those who come to us for help.

Dr. Judy Kantrowitz will present a paper, “Love and its Obstacles,” in which she will discuss obstacles to loving within herself, within her patients, and between the two of them. She will consider to what extent these obstacles are overcome in the course of analytic work. Dr. Kantrowitz will examine intimacy, that is, love as an appreciation of the other person as separate from oneself. Dr. Kantrowitz will discuss intrapsychic difficulties that interfere with loving, focusing on the difficulties created by projection and problems with affect regulation.

Dr. Kantrowitz is a Training and Supervising Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. She has published extensively on a variety of topics, including the analyst-patient match and outcome in psychoanalysis. Dr. Kantrowtz serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association and is a reader for the Psychoanalytic Inquiry.

Dr. Henry Smith will address love in the analytic setting with his paper, “Richard and Cyrano: Narcissistic Resistances to Transference Love.” Richard and Cyrano, two characters from dramatic literature, illustrate a range of narcissistic interferences with erotic love. Because these interferences are evident in a wide variety of patients, Dr. Smith suggests, narcissism is more accurately used as a descriptive feature than a diagnostic term. Dr. Smith will present detailed clinical material.

Dr. Smith is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England East and a member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Smith is a frequent contributor to the psychoanalytic literature on the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. He was awarded the 2001 Journal Prize by the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association for his paper, “Hearing Voices: The Fate of the Analyst’s Identifications.”

Dr. Shelley Orgel, well known for his acuity and insight regarding clinical material, will respond to the papers presented by Drs. Smith and Kantrowitz. There will be ample time for audience participation.

Dr. Orgel is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York University Psychoanalytic Institute. He has held several positions on the Board of Professional Standards, including Chairman. He has served as an associate editor of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly and has published a variety of papers on applied psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic education, and technique and theory.

Dr. Aisha Abbasi will serve as the symposium’s moderator.
Dr. Abbasi is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. She is a published poet in her native language, Urdu, and a regular participant at Urdu poetry readings held annually in Michigan. Dr. Abbasi is actively involved in teaching psychiatry residents in the Metro Detroit area.

The Symposium will be held from Saturday, February 28, 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Laurel Manor in Livonia.