First Monday of the month, October through May, 7:45 PM
4612 49th ST NW, Washington DC

The overarching frame of reference for this year of study is to deepen our understanding of affect regulation in the context of intense affects associated with what some people have called human evil. It enters the world of perpetrator psychodynamics that better informs us regarding what we and our patients must negotiate in understanding the impact of evil in our lives. While ostensibly only about clinical work, it is also about our geopolitical reality.

Members who attend this study group will be able to:

1. Discuss the extent to which the loneliness of the survivor creates a dilemma of what is inarticulate and essentially unknowable that must still be held and not foreclosed.
2. Describe the ways in which both perpetrator and survivor collude in the repeated appearance and disappearance of evil from awareness.
3. Discuss the implications of inarticulate memory where bodily experience is a “witness.”
4. Describe some of the resonations of parental sexual trauma in their adult children.
5. Describe the role betrayal may have in the annihilation of self.
6. Describe the potential role of countertransference anxiety in the therapist’s betrayal of a patient.
7. Discuss how a felt state of innocence can exist alongside a real state of guilt.
8. Describe the mutual states of dissociation typical of the incest scene.
9. Describe the relationship the body’s wish for survival in conflict with betrayal of the mind’s wish to be ethical in moments of abuse.
10. Describe how the perpetrator’s monstrosity compromises the survivor whose monstrosity is activated in scenes of abuse.
11. Describe the nuances of the “possession of things” and its power in relatedness.
12. Explain the significance of thingness and its relationship to dissociative processes.
13. Describe how the Frankenstein creature may have been an embodiment of loss.
14. Discuss humiliation and its relationship to vengeance and grief.
15. Describe how the act of forgiveness might heal or might violate, for a survivor.
16. Discuss the ways in which emerging hatred paradoxically may hold new relatedness.