San Francisco ISG Segments 2020-2021:

32 Weeks | September 11, 2020 — May 21, 2021
Fridays | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC)
530 Bush Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

Lost, Unrequited, and Absent Love:  Implications for Development and Change
Genie Dvorak, Psy.D.
September 11, 18, 25; October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

The vicissitudes of love often figure in to problems with change and can engender some of the most difficult clinical dynamics. Efforts to come to terms with painful losses (the terrain of mourning and melancholia) and to transform disappointing objects (the terrain of the negative therapeutic reaction) can impede or distort development, potentially consuming a lifetime of energy. Particular problems occur when the essential world of care and responsiveness is not lost or disappointing but is, instead, absent. We will examine how these experiences of love present in the clinical situation and how we might facilitate therapeutic processes to address them.

Love and Hate: Lost and Found
Robin A. Deutsch, Ph.D.
November 6, 13, 20; December 4, 11, 18; January 8, 15

In every psychotherapy, we develop a collaborative way of working with each patient. In the intensity of a treatment, however, the intermingling of progressive and regressive tendencies for both the therapist and the patient can capsize the treatment. As therapists, we have frequent experience with those moments when empathic attunement to our patient is lost and with it, loving connections. These types of misattunements and impasses with subsequent repair inevitably occur through a treatment, bringing an opportunity to move the therapy forward.

This course will include readings and case discussion as a way of discovering and repairing what happens when a treatment “tilts.”

The Waves  — Exploring the Ebb and Flow of Life and Loss
Deborah Weisinger, Psy.D.
January 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5, 12

To paraphrase Freud, in order to develop (get something new), we need to lose or give up something else. Throughout life, we are confronted with loss, as both a developmental process and a reality. Although inevitable, coping with loss can be challenging, particularly with traumatic experiences. In this seminar we will closely read papers by Freud and Klein. Our discussions will include our clinical experiences and excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s book The Waves (1931) to illustrate themes connected with the experience of loss. We will also consider sociocultural aspects that influence the experience of loss, for the patient and for the therapeutic couple.

Love: Union, Otherness, and the Intimacy of Clinical Encounters
Drew Tillotson, Psy.D., FIPA  
March 19, 26; April 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21

In this final segment of the ISG, we examine the nature of love in three subsections over the eight classes: first, we will explore the phenomenon of love utilizing ideas from evolving British and contemporary object relations, as well as American relational writings. Second, we will analyze love through the examination of “otherness”; this will be focused primarily on love relations between people of different races, cultures, genders, identities, sexual orientations, and values other than what has sometimes been known as traditional marriage or gender binary ideologies. Third, we will study loving feelings and erotics in the consulting room by delving into the powerful nature of erotic transference and countertranference. Attention will be paid to how these discussions impact you as a citizen, as a class participant, as well as dynamics that have arisen — or will arise — in the working group you have developed over the course of the ISG.