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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

31st Annual Symposium (2006): Desire in the Consulting Room

Rosemary Balsam, M.D. (New Haven, CT)
Dr. Balsam is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis; associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale Medical School and Department of Student Health; Book Review Editor of Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (JAPA); on the Editorial Boards of Psychoanalytic Quarterly and American Imago.  Dr. Balsam has taught and presented on adolescence, gender development, sibling relations, psychotherapy and supervision.  Her writing awards include one for her early book, Becoming a Psychotherapist:  A Clinical Primer (now in its 2nd edition), and two Annual Best Paper awards from JAPA.  Named the National Woman Psychoanalytic Scholar by the American Psychoanalytic Association 2004-2005, Dr. Balsam’s current writing concerns female development and the body.

Dr. Balsam's presentation is titled, "In the Consulting Room: Whose Desire? What Want?"
Abstract: Mainly by way of clinical vignettes, I will investigate the patient's desires of the therapist or analyst, and vice versa. The illustrations and commentary will move from direct expressions of sexuality to indirect forms of enactment and more complex transference/countertransference entanglements. Moments of mismatching communication, rhythms and emotional tonalities based on awareness of mutual physicality (exemplifying what Loewald called "the life of the body"), will be used to examine the edge of desire -- a place of potential growth and insight within the analytic situation.

Jay Greenberg, Ph.D.
(New York, NY)
Dr. Greenberg is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at the Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, New York University.  He is a former Editor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and has served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.  Dr. Greenberg has published and presented nationally and internationally in the areas of analytic neutrality, object relations, psychoanalytic technique, and therapeutic action.  His writings include Oedipus and beyond: a Clinical Theory and Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory, co-authored with Stephen Mitchell and considered the standard text on object relations theory.  In 1993, Dr. Greenberg received the Distinguished Scientific Award by the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Greenberg's paper is titled, "‘What Daimon made you do this?’:  Thoughts on Desire in the Consulting Room"
Abstract: In his most influential formulation, Freud located desire deeply within us, on the psychosomatic frontier. Desire in this view is given expression in the wish, which is energized by the press of our drives. In this paper I discuss radical psychoanalytic alternatives to this perspective, and try to find a middle ground between competing points of view. My attempt to understand desire both as an expression of our personal passion and as a reaction to the will of other people draws not just on psychoanalytic thinking, but also on the sensibility of the Greek tragedians, whose contribution I discuss. I then apply this to the psychoanalytic  situation, focusing on ways in which the analyst's desire, interacting with the patient's, gives rise to the specifics of each clinical encounter.

Discussant:    Ronald M. Benson, M.D. (Ann Arbor, MI)
Dr. Benson is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, and on the clinical faculties in psychiatry at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.  He is past-President of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Society and past-President of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute.  A major area of interest of his has been psychoanalytic education.  He served as Fellow-on-the-Board for 10 years and then as Chair of the Committee on Institutes before becoming Chair of the Board on Professional Standards of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  Dr. Benson has taught, published, and presented on wide-ranging topics including imaginary companions, treatment termination with children and adolescents, child and adolescent development, psychodynamic psychotherapy, transference and counter transference, and psychoanalytic technique.

Moderator:    James H. Hansell, Ph.D. (Ann Arbor, MI)
Dr. Hansell is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Department of Psychology.  He is the current President and former Program Chair of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Society.  Dr. Hansell has taught and published on various psychoanalytic topics including clinical technique, neutrality, the superego, and sexuality.  He is co-author (with Lisa Damour) of the textbook Abnormal Psychology, and teaches two popular undergraduate courses at the University of Michigan – Introduction to Psychopathology, and Gender and Sexual Identity in Recent Film and Theory.  Dr. Hansell is active in the American Psychoanalytic Association as co-chair of the Committee on Psychoanalysis and Sport, and he is an editorial reviewer for several psychoanalytic journals.  Dr. Hansell is in private practice in Ann Arbor, MI.

This year's symposium features these leading analytic theorists and clinicians as they explore and seek to understand the role of desire in the crucible of the patient/therapist relationship.  Desire is stirred up in both patient and analyst/therapist, both as subjects and objects of desire.  Clinical examples will be used to illustrate how desire shapes the transference/countertransference dynamic in expressions of sexuality as well as other motives that lead to direct and indirect enactments in the consulting room.
Please join us for what promises to be a stimulating and thought-provoking day of mutual discussion of issues that are present in all treatment situations.  All mental health professionals, academics, students, and interested community members are welcome.

Saturday, April 1, 2006 
8:00 am-3:30 pm


The Inn at St. John’s
44045 Five Mile Road
Plymouth, MI 
(M-14 and Sheldon Road)