Mourning and Mortality in Literature and Psychoanalysis
Instructor: Giovanni Minonne, Ph.D., Director of Seminar Series, Faculty at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
Five Tuesdays: September 6, 13, 20, 27; October 4, 2016
7.5 CME and CE Credit Hours
Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
400 Maynard Street, Suite 1005
Practice Gap/Need and Course Description:
This seminar aims to increase our ability to tolerate the wounds of loss and an awareness of our own mortality. The course will help clinicians better understand and help patients who struggle with mourning and with anxiety about their own death. We will read the Epic of Gilgamesh (as the first known literary example of the human struggle to come to terms with mortality) and Sophocles’ Antigone. We will read these two fundamental texts with psychoanalytic sensibility, paying particular attention to the different ways of coming to terms with mortality through the “masculine” archetype of the hero and the “feminine” archetype of the compassionate sister/mother. We will then compare these texts with certain important works of Freud (“On Transience”, “Thoughts for the Times on War and Death”, “Mourning and Melancholia”). We will connect our discussion of these texts with our personal and clinical experiences with mourning and mortality. Finally, we will read and discuss: “After the Storm: Living and Dying in Psychoanalysis”, a paper by Alfred Margulies about a patient diagnosed with terminal cancer who continued to work in analysis until he died.
By the end of the course participants will:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental importance of loss and awareness of mortality in the therapeutic encounter.
2. Have the capacity to apply knowledge of fundamental human resources to cope with loss and mortality in order to enhance human connection and facilitate therapeutic change and acceptance of mortality.
About the Presenter: Giovanni Minonne is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Raised in Italy, he studied philosophy at the University of Florence, psychology at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, and phenomenological humanistic psychotherapy at the ASPIC program in Rome. After he moved to the United States, he obtained a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Michigan and completed his training in adult psychoanalysis at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. He has published four books on issues related to the interpretation of meaning in psychotherapy, evidence-based psychotherapy, and comparative approaches to psychotherapy. He is currently a faculty at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, and the Director of the Seminar Series Program. His areas of interests are mourning and mortality and socio-cultural issues in psychoanalysis.