Affective Engagement and the Psychoanalytic Process
Instructor: Merton Shill, Ph.D.
Four Thursdays:October 6, 13, 20, 27, 2016
6 CME and CE Credit Hours
Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
400 Maynard Street, Suite 1005
Practice Gap/Need and Course Description:
Active engagement with the patient’s affective response to the psychoanalytic process has been de-emphasized, partly out of concern for preserving analyst neutrality, abstinence, anonymity and guarding against analyst countertransference enactments and gratifying patients’ conscious and unconscious wishes. Insufficient attention has been paid to the way in which the analysand experiences the process of the analysis. The literature on technique has, as a result, a decidedly cognitive orientation with special emphasis on interpretation as the royal road to therapeutic action. Using clinical examples provided by both the presenter and the participants, an alternative approach will be explored which addresses this absence and focuses on affect tolerance and resistance to enhance the affective depth of the patient’s analytic experience without compromising these principles, thus facilitating therapeutic action.
By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Identify the cognitive orientation in the literature on technique.
- Analyze the impact of this orientation on the prevailing techniques and ideas concerning therapeutic action.
- Evaluate an alternative technical approach which emphasizes analysis of affect tolerance and the affect underlying resistance, i.e. signal anxiety.
- Demonstrate the capacity to apply these concepts to the clinical examples discussed in class.
About the Presenter: Dr. Shill was formerly Senior Research Associate in the Child Analytic Study Program at the Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and is currently Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. He is a graduate in adult analysis and a collegial member of the Association for Child Psychoanalysis.