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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

37th Annual Symposium - Clinical Approaches to Trauma: From Dissociation to Integration

Note added April 25:  The paper presented by Joseph Fernando, M.D., is available to be read online.


The Michigan Psychoanalytic Society is pleased to announce that its 37th Annual Symposium will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth.  5 CME/CE credit hours.

Our topic is Clinical Approaches to Trauma: From Dissociation to Integration. Whether we see patients in psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, trauma is frequently in the background or foreground of our patients’ lives. Its major impact on psyche and soma is felt and enacted in our patients’ lives, families, and in their treatment. Our symposium will probe the nature and mechanisms of trauma and develop skills that will help our patients recover, heal, and move toward healthier integration.

Ira Brenner, M.D. (Philedelphia, PA) is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, where he is also Director Emeritus of the Adult Psychotherapy Training Program. He has a special interest in the area of psychological trauma and is the author of over 80 publications, and four books: The Last Witness- The Child Survivor of the Holocaust, co-authored with Judith Kestenberg (1996), Dissociation of Trauma- Theory, Phenomenology, and Technique (2001), Psychic Trauma- Dynamics, Symptoms, and Treatment (2004), and Injured Men-Trauma, Healing, and the Masculine Self (2009). He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Gratz Research Prize from Jefferson for work on the Holocaust, the Piaget Writing Award for his 2001 book, the Bruno Lima Award for his work in Disaster Psychiatry, and the Gradiva Award (clinical category) for his 2009 book on injured men and trauma.

Joseph Fernando, M.D. (Toronto, Canada) is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute and past President of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society. He received his medical training from McGill University in Montreal. He has published papers on guilt, narcissism, and the character of the exception. A major research interest has been the study of different types of defensive structures and mental functioning and their implications for treatment. He integrates new perspectives on three forms of defenses – repression, denial, and post-traumatic defenses - in his recent book, “The Process of Defense: Trauma, Drives, and Reality: A New Synthesis” (2009), which won the 2010 Gradiva prize for a book on psychoanalytic theory. He is at present working on two projects: a more detailed exploration of aspects of the zero process and trauma, and a book on psychoanalysis and human evolution.

Free Seminar: A Pre-Symposium seminar, free of charge, will be available for those who register early and wish to participate. Michael Shulman, Ph.D. will offer an overview of trauma as an introduction to the Symposium.

Venue: The Symposium will be held at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, in the Conference Center Grand Ballroom from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.