East Bay ISG Segments 2019-2020:

32 Weeks | September 12, 2019 — May 14, 2020
Thursdays | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: St. Clement’s Episcopal Church
2837 Claremont Boulevard, Berkeley, CA 94705

Touching the Body with Words
Paula Mandel, Ph.D.
September 12, 19, 26; October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

We will immerse ourselves in the language of bodily experience so as to bring ourselves into closer contact with the essential core of emotional life. We will look at how somatic states are both foundational to self-experience and can be used defensively, as well as how a sense of sensory boundedness can affect psychic dimensionality. Readings include Ogden’s Autistic-Contiguous Position and seminal papers by Tustin, Anzieu, Bick, Meltzer, and Fonagy. We will pay special attention to how our words — and, in particular, metaphors — can make contact with early mental states. We will also consider how forms of social oppression may affect one’s somatic life.

When Words Fail and Bodies Speak: Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders
Tom Wooldridge, Psy.D., ABPP
November 7, 14, 21; December 5, 12, 19;  January 9, 16

This course will examine psychoanalytic conceptualization and treatment of eating disorders. We will explore these complex and confounding syndromes through multiple lenses: as failures of thought, with unthinkable thoughts becoming stuck in the body; as complex compromise formations tied to early relational experiences; as autistic defenses against intolerable anxieties; as dissociative disorders linked to early experiences of trauma and affective dysregulation; and as disorders of desire, clandestine love affairs marked by anticipation, excitement, secrecy, and disappoint-ment, leaving emptiness in their wake. We will attend to the importance of gender, culture, and the role of the therapist’s body throughout the treatment situation.

Erotic Embodiment in the Analytic Field
Dianne Elise, Ph.D.
January 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 5, 12

This course interweaves Winnicott’s emphasis on the psyche-soma with a Freudian focus on embodied libidinal life. We will take up the sexual body as it emerges in clinical material both developmentally — including in the parent-infant relation, oedipal experience, adolescent and adult sexuality — and in the embodied encounter of the patient-analyst dyad within the intersubjective analytic field. Strong emphasis will be placed on bodily experience in subjective registering of the erotic. The concept of analytic eroticism, developed in my paper, “Moving from within the Maternal” (Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2017), will be utilized to deepen appreciation of the erotic body’s contribution to mental growth and to creativity.

Disembodiment: Deadness/Vitality
Deborah Melman, Ph.D.
March 19, 26; April 2, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14

Dissociation from an embodied location of self-experience leaves the individual prone to depersonalization, deadness, disorientation, and the loss of meaningful engagement in the world. Such dissociative disembodiment can result in an artificial relationship to the body, including obsessional control over somatic life. This requires a different approach from the therapist. In this situation, the challenge of facilitating the patient’s connection to their embodied reality prevails. This challenge entails putting aside the emphasis on analyzing associations and transferences, and instead searching for forms of experiential vitality and embodied orientation in the clinical field. We will read work by Winnicott, Lombardi, Goldberg, and Alvarez, among others.