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

The overarching frame of reference for our studies is to deepen our understanding of intense affect, a multiple self-state psychology of mind, and the dissociative processes inclusive of all of Anna Freud’s mechanisms of defense as well as those like depersonalization. We will explore the extent to which an unconscious need to regulate intense affectivity and maintain a sense of self during periods of experiencing severe impingement, attacks on being, play an active role in these clinical categories. Typical readings for our studies have included the following, and will likely retain that trajectory in the future.

Bromberg, P. M. (2011). The shadow of the tsunami and the growth of the relational mind. New York: Routledge.
DeYoung, P. A. (2015). Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame: A Relational/Neurobiological Approach: Routledge.

Members who attend this study group will be able to:

  1. Describe telltale signs of the presence of an isolated self-state.
  2. Describe the role of the therapist’s disclosure in the resolution of enactment.
  3. Discuss the role of right brain to right brain communication in attachment.
  4. Describe the role of fear in the neurobiological underpinnings of dissociative detachment.
  5. Describe the impact of “safe surprises” on the patient’s ability to distinguish traumatic from non-traumatic experiences.
  6. Describe the distinction and its significance in Sullivan’s distinction of traumatic affect from anxiety.
  7. Discuss how enactment is a dyadic dissociative process.
  8. Describe how the longing of the patient to communicate with the analyst can generate shame experience.
  9. Discuss how dissociation is enlisted to transform normal process into rigid structure.
  10. Describe the importance of collisions between patient and therapist as confirming of the analyst holding the patient in mind, to their benefit.
  11. Describe the significance of the notion that not-me self-states in both analyst and analysand are dissociatively held and enacted.
  12. Explain how a patient can appear to be conflicted when they are actually “dissociated” and how that can be ascertained.
  13. Describe how the search for truth and dissociative discontinuity of consciousness create problems for patient and analyst.
  14. Explain Bromberg’s distinction between repression and dissociation.