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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

The Revival of Symptoms as Ritual Transformation in the Termination Phase of Analysis

Mayer Subrin, M.D.
Training and Supervising Analyst, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute

Discussant: David Dietrich, Ph.D.
Training and Supervising Analyst, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute


Thursday, November 17, 2011
8:00 - 10:00 PM

2 CME and CE Credit Hours


Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
32841 Middlebelt Road
Farmington Hills


The revival of symptoms in the termination phase of analysis has been commonly noted. When the central organizing fantasy has been dealt with, the revival of symptoms and termination performs a ritual function marking that change. The revival of symptoms in that instance is a self-infliction expressing grief in the essential mourning process of loss and identification with the lost object. The ritualized revival marks the transition from one state to another. Vignettes from two analyses will be presented.

After attending this presentation, participants should be able to:

1. Distinguish between an upsurge in symptoms in the mid-phase of an analysis, from one in the termination phase.
2. Recognize the phases and sub-phases of the termination process.

About the presenter:

Dr. Subrin is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, and Past President of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. Among his interests are the understanding of termination phase issues/criteria and unconscious fantasy in psychoanalysis. Dr. Subrin has taught the termination clinical course at MPI for many years, and has chaired the Discussion Group on Termination at the bi-annual meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association since 1995.