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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

Narcissism, Illusion and the Passage of Time: Roadblocks and Pathways to Intimacy

43rd Annual Symposium

Sarah Schoen, Ph.D.

Stephen Seligman, D.M.H.

Saturday, April 14, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Detroit Film Theatre of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Intimacy has more recently evolved as not only integral to our more personal relationships and even our social presentations, but also as central to the analytic/therapeutic relationship. With that, certain elements emerge as perhaps central to analysts’ and psychotherapists’ work with patients. Narcissism, Illusion (a developmental process described by Winnicott) and the Passage of Time will be discussed as variables containing important aspects to enhancing or preventing the development of intimate relating that can further therapeutic action within the analytic and psychotherapeutic relationship. This Symposium will describe and give examples of how to work with these variables within the analytic/psychotherapeutic hour as well as related to other important aspects of our patients’ lives and our own as analysts and psychotherapists.

Practice Gap/Need and Objectives:
Many psychotherapists and psychoanalysts may be unaware of the enhancing effects of intimacy related to therapeutic action within or without the psychoanalytic/ psychotherapeutic setting. Related to this unawareness are the variables that can possibly further or undermine the fostering of intimacy. Here, narcissism, illusion (a developmental process) and the passage of time will be elaborated upon as a sample of those variables.

By the end of the day, participants in this Symposium will be able to:

1. Describe at least three aspects to intimate relating through the variables of narcissism, illusion (a developmental process), and the passage of time.

2. Demonstrate ways of assessing and working with patients’ narcissistic characteristics and thus enhance intimacy and therapeutic action in the clinical relationship.

3. Assess patients’ capacity for illusion as described and thus enhance intimacy and therapeutic action in the clinical relationship.

4. Discuss how the passage of time impacts intimacy and therapeutic action in order to further the efficacy of psychoanalytic/ psychotherapeutic treatment.

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