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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

Beyond the Dyad: Individual Psychology, Social World - Nancy Chodorow, Ph.D.

Beyond the Dyad: Individual Psychology, Social World

Nancy J. Chodorow, Ph.D.
Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute

Discussant: Dale Boesky, M.D.
Training and Supervising Analyst, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute


Psychoanalysis began as a one-person treatment. Freud's attention to transference-countertransference meant to alert the analyst to the likely unfolding of the analytic process and to give guidance about how to engage herself within this process. Recently, however, analysts focus increasingly on the transference-countertransference -- the analytic pair and their unconscious and interpersonal interaction. The dyad is the new focus of analysis. "Beyond the dyad" addresses this trend. From the perspective of clinical technique, it argues that analysts should refocus themselves on their patients and put themselves more in the background, as facilitators of the patient's emergent insight and change. From the perspective of the sociology of the dyad, it claims that our lack of awareness of the dyad's professional-institutional context enhances dangers and vulnerabilities intrinsic to dyads. The paper considers the over-privatization of the training analyst relationship and the sexual exploitation of patients as consequences of these clinical trends and sociological scotomas.

1. Review the history and changing trends within psychoanalysis as it has expanded from a one-person treatment to greater emphasis on the analytic pair.
2. Assess the impact and consequences of analytic focus on the dyad and transference-countertransference.
3. Address the benefit of greater focus on the patient in the treatment relationship, with the analyst as background facilitator of the patient’s emergent self-awareness.

About the presenter: Dr. Nancy J. Chodorow is Training and Supervising Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and Society, and Faculty at San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. She is Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Sociology Emerita and Clinical Faculty in Psychology Emerita at University of California, Berkley. Dr. Chodorow is the author of numerous books and articles on comparative psychoanalytic theory and technique, the Loewaldian tradition, sexuality, the psychology of women, and gender as well as editor of distinctive journals.

Saturday, March 19, 2011
2:00-4:00 p.m. 
Farmington Hills