First Monday of the month, October through May, 7:30 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. Describe how Bollas’ notion that the serial killer has had an emotional death comports with Fromm’s concept of malignant narcissism
2. Describe the basis upon which a psychopath leaves others bewildered, hurt, and confused about their acts of cruelty.
3. discuss how psychopathy fits into the category of the anti-social personality disorder.
4. describe the utility of understanding the personality structure of the psychopath as dissociative.
5. describe the ways in which Meloy’s concept of split object relations could be related to Howell’s idea of dissociative personality structure.
6. describe how sexual desire and violent fantasy are part of the “true believer’s” mindset.
7. discuss the qualities of the grouping of members of the spectrum of the negative personality: negative traits, malignant narcissism, antisocial PD, psychopathy, plus violence, sadism, and sadism with terrorism.
8. describe the development of the concept of “evil with soul murder.”
9. discuss how Sinason parses her experience and is able to say that no person in her 40 years of working with perpetrators was intrinsically evil.
10. describe some of the complexities of the case of Beatrice and your agreement or disagreement with Sinason about diagnosis.
11. describe the relevance of racial guilt or racial shame to your own life.
12. explain how the concept of flawed human goodness might impact the redemption of shame.
13. describe how Bromberg’s view of the unconscious denotes social reality and simultaneously psychic reality.
14. explain how racism is “America’s evil (s)kin!.”
15. describe how Eichmann satisfied many of the criteria of the psychopath
16. explain how Robert Prince and Cleonie White see Donald Trump as encompassing many of the characteristics of the psychopath.