On December 6 and 13, 2021, Patricia Coughlin offers an online two-day seminar on the topic of therapeutic love.
In a letter to Jung, Freud wrote, “Psychoanalysis is a cure through love”. What did he mean? What does love have to do with the practice of ISTDP?
In this two day webinar we discuss the central importance of love in the healing process. Human beings are wired for love and connection. However, loss, disappointment and even abuse in close relationships creates intensely mixed feelings which prove difficult, if not impossible, to bear. Defenses against these painful and guilt laden feelings often become a resistance to closeness which prevents the giving and receiving of love. Unless removed, these defenses and resistances will undermine treatment efforts and perpetuate suffering, resulting in frustrated therapists and patients destined to live lonely, isolated lives.
ISTDP is a method of therapy designed to dismantle these defenses and resistances in order to reach the patient and free him to love and be loved. Rilke wrote, “For one human being to love another. That is the most difficult of all our tasks, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” This is just as true for us, as for our patients. Are we open, available, engaged and responsive or hiding behind our theories and techniques. It is my contention that we must BE the change we seek to facilitate in others. We will discuss and share our experience of love in the therapeutic process.
We will follow a number of cases from beginning to end in order to observe the process of healing wounds that impair our ability to give and receive love.
When Davanloo started to innovate, he recorded sessions and reviewed them with patients, once their therapy had concluded. It was during one of these feedback sessions that a patient alerted Davanloo to interpersonal defenses, designed to keep the therapist and others, at an emotional distance. He came to refer to these strategies as “tactical defenses” which operate as a resistance to emotional closeness. Unless such defenses and resistances are recognized and removed, treatment will remain superficial and largely ineffective.
We will observe a number of cases in which defenses against emotional closeness figure prominently. We will follow the process from defense to feeling to insight and change in several cases. We will use the case of “Broken Bird” and “The Man with Pain and Depression” and “The Man who couldn’t get divorced” to illustrate the process through which the unresolved conflicts from the past block the patient’s inability to give and receive love.
For more information and tickets: click here.
The event is organized by ISTDP Israel.