East Bay Intensive Study Group —
Love, Loss and Lost Love:
Building Capacities for Loving, Losing, and Growing
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
— Funeral Blues, W.H. Auden (1938)
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
— In Blackwater Woods, Mary Oliver (1983)
The earliest experiences of love are at the core of our sense of self: the warmth and holding of the mother’s body; discovery in the reflection of the caregiver’s gaze; a bodily ego formed from repeated skin-to-skin contact. Moments of responsiveness between caregiver and infant build the connection that grows the internal world of both. If all goes well, love leads to a home within — a safe, reliable internal location to ride out the ups and downs. But as we know from listening to our patients in the consulting room, it does not always go well.
In the face of the unprecedented destruction of World War I, Freud (1917) penned one of his most famous and influential papers “Mourning and Melancholia”. He took up the question of the difficulty of loss — the personal loss of a loved one and the loss of ideals and identity. How is it that some patients experience a death or loss and work it through, while others falter in the grieving process and become frozen in a state of self-attacking melancholia?
Given the current political trends and events, we face destructiveness on a daily basis. We witness cycles of attack and retaliation — a sense of things breaking apart where the feeling of loss abounds. We are witness to the loss of world resources as a result of climate change, and of our humanity, as expressed in attitudes towards the other. In such times, a sense of loss of love looms for each other and for the world — we are witnessing a war within ourselves.
What happens if we lose our sense of self in the process of being othered, or when we lose our home and have to contend with the feeling of not being rooted within? What happens when we attack parts of ourselves? How do we interrupt this deadly and deadening experience? If, as Freud (1906) wrote, “Psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love,” then how do one’s vulnerabilities to love impact the therapeutic action of our clinical work?
The 2020-21 ISG will explore what psychoanalytic thinkers have to contribute to our understanding of the intertwined complexities of love and loss, as well as how to work with them in the consulting room towards transforming loss into an opportunity for growth.
ISG participants are eligible for 12 sessions of consultation with a PINC analyst at $60 per session to help integrate the material into clinical practice.
Click here for detailed information about individual ISG segments.
NCSPP is aware that historically psychoanalysis has either excluded or pathologized groups outside of the dominant population in terms of age, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, and size. As an organization, we are committed to bringing awareness to matters of anti-oppression, inequity, inequality, diversity, and inclusion as they pertain to our educational offerings, our theoretical orientation, our community, and the broader world we all inhabit.
Mary Tennes, Ph.D.
The oppression of marginalized groups can be understood as a manifestation of cultural failures to grieve and to love. When privilege is used to avoid a recognition of losses suffered, those losses then becomes expelled into the denigrated other — individually or collectively — and love is foreclosed. In this course we will attempt to link our understanding of a psychoanalytic process, which explores the challenges of opening to both loss and love, to broader socio-political realities and the attempt to approach them in a way that holds transformative possibility.
Andrea Walt, Ph.D.
In this section of the course we will consider an psychoanalytic understanding of fear of the other, specifically as it arises in relation to race, sex, class and ethnic difference.
Carolina Bacchi, Psy.D., and Adam Beyda, Psy.D.
The class will focus on the impact of intrapsychic and interpersonal trauma as well as on sociopolitical realities and oppressive cultural forms. In our discussion of trauma and its effects (shuttering of love and tenderness, turning away from community) we will of necessity be thinking of the position and potential of the individual with respect to a wide array of constitutive factors, including their social and cultural selves. As a part of this, we hope to invite conversation and reflection about the social landscape and its effect on the constitution of emotional life, including the participants' backgrounds and experiences as social and cultural beings.
The social discourses and implicit cultural assumptions that constitute human identity require attention. In this course which is concerned with difficulties of taking up living in a vital and responsive way we will attend to the impact of denuded, othering and alienated modalities and social constructions which both shape and stultify the self.
At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Describe how an inner capacity for relatedness and community-belonging allows emotional ruptures to be restored.
- Explain the impact of intergenerational transmission of trauma in emotional development and how relational trauma disrupts dreaming and access to preconscious mentation.
- Discuss the capacity to love and to grieve in both patient and analyst — and the fears of both — as central dimensions of psychoanalytic work.
- Discuss the central concepts of psychoanalytic thinking about the genesis of depression and melancholia and how this can be used as a lens for understanding the early experiences of love or its absence that induce suffering with which patients struggle.
- de Maat, S., de Jonghe, F., de Kraker, R., Leichsenring, F., Abbass, A., Luyten, P., & Dekker, J. (2013). The current state of the empirical evidence for psychoanalysis: a meta-analytic approach. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 21, 107–137.
- Felsen, I. (2017) Adult-Onset Trauma and Intergenerational Transmission: Integrating Empirical Data and Psychoanalytic Theory, Psychoanalysis, Self and Context, 12:1, 60-77, DOI: 10.1080/15551024.2017.1251185
- Keefe, R.J., McCarthy, K.S., Dinger, U., Zilcha-Mano, S., & Barber, J. P. (2014). A meta-analytic review of psychodynamic therapies for anxiety disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 34, 309-323.
- Vegas, M., Halfon, S., Cavder, A., & Raya, H. (2015) When interventions make an impact: an empirical investigation of analyst’s communications and patient’s productivity. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 32(4) 580-607
- Yehuda R, Lehrner A. (2018) Intergenerational transmission of trauma effects: putative role of epigenetic mechanisms. World Psychiatry. 7:243–257.
Carolina Bacchi, Psy.D., originally from Brazil, has a deep interest in issues related to intergenerational transmission impacting immigration and the interface between cultural dislocation, inner creativity, and psychoanalytic technique. Dr. Bacchi teaches in a variety of settings and has always helped clinicians with their professional development, offering consultation for early-career clinicians. She also co-facilitates an ongoing consultation group on deepening clinical practice. An advanced candidate at PINC, she maintains a private practice in Oakland where she works with children, parents, and adults in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
Adam Beyda, Psy.D., works with adult individuals and focuses on developing creative modes of living. Formerly the Director of Counseling Services at Holy Names University and clinical faculty at the Wright Institute, Dr. Beyda has supervised and taught widely in the community and co-facilitates an ongoing case conference centered on deepening clinical practice. Dr. Beyda, an advanced candidate at PINC, maintains a general practice of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and consultation in Oakland.
Deborah Melman, Ph.D., is on the faculty at the Wright Institute, PINC, and SFCP.
She has a private practice in Berkeley.
Mary Tennes, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and psychologist in private practice in Berkeley. Dr. Tennes is a faculty member at PINC and has taught at The Wright Institute, CSPP, CIIS, and other graduate and training programs. She has written and presented on the topic of psychoanalysis and the uncanny and has a particular interest in the intersection of psychoanalytic practice, poetry, and contemporary science.
Andrea Walt, Ph.D., is a faculty member and personal and supervisory analyst at PINC. She teaches theory and clinical practice in a variety of training settings. Dr. Walt has a private practice in Oakland, offering psychoanalysis and psychotherapy for adults, adolescents, and couples, as well as clinical consultation.
The ISG is for clinicians with moderate to extensive experience in clinical work with some background in the principles of psychoanalytic approaches or laypersons with a strong academic or cultural interest in applied or clinical psychoanalysis.
LCSW/MFTs: Courses meet the requirements for 64 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and/or LEPS, as required by the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences. NCSPP is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (Provider Number 57020), to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCS, and/or LEPs. NCSPP maintains responsibility for this program /course and its content.
Psychologists: Psychologists receive credit through Division 39 upon completion of this course. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.