San Francisco Intensive Study Group —
RUPTURE: Pain and Possibility
Our relationships are, in so many ways, not only the defining feature of the human experience, but also of civilization and the forms it takes over time. This year’s topic, Rupture: Pain and Possibility, has been inspired by shared experience during the pandemic, and the sociopolitical and personal events that have shaken our sense of security. The course will include a deeper exploration of trauma theory from multiple perspectives. It also will delve into the possibility of repair and healing by working to build an understanding of the myriad perils and opportunities in these unprecedented times.
Theories of reparation, both psychoanalytic and socioanalytic, are relevant for the present moment: they seek to understand what makes reparation meaningful between individuals and groups. How does one anticipate being treated? How does one consider their behavior towards others? Exchanges can go unconsidered until something unexpected occurs: the surprise of being treated differently, being taken aback when behavior that has gone unchallenged is suddenly unacceptable. Shock when something hurtful is spoken, after it emerges from a veil of silence. Learning how differently someone else interprets an exchange, in which both people participate. These moments can be liberating or annihilating.
These experiences reference powerfully our early attachment experiences, and the relationship between them can have far-reaching effects upon memory and personality integration. A fundamental listening between the mind and the body is the foundation of inner-balance and well-being. Early linkages made between the psyche and the soma are disrupted by the psycho-physiological impact of traumatic ruptures, at personal and cultural levels. Through the case material, as clinical ruptures allow for earlier ruptures to emerge, we will explore the varied emotional breaches in sensory experience that create these inner chasms in the relationship with the self.
The sociocultural sphere parallels the intrapsychic realm of experience; the splitting of society into ingroups and outgroups often makes particular use of language. The enforced silence of others is accomplished by not acknowledging the ways these imbalances perpetuate themselves in society, along ever-repeating but different splits and strata. Ultimately, building gentle bridges is the commitment we make as a society, and as individuals, when we inhabit and share the same physical and cultural space. This critically important commitment, to repair injury, requires that we might understand resistances to reparation: how theories of intrapsychic repair compare with those of intersubjective and institutional repair.
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.
The course is conceived with an eye toward applying intrapsychic and social-psychic theories to the reparation of interpersonal and collective injustices. Course participants will be invited to consider such issues as they apply particularly to racial and other inequities, and the readings include perspectives from thinkers representing various social and theoretical positions.
As social justice movements increasingly recognize, personal and collective trauma lie at the heart of a great deal of privilege, oppression, exploitation, and injustice, all of which inflict additional trauma, particularly on historically marginalized groups. This course will explore trauma on many levels: somatic, dynamic, relational, collective, transgenerational, and historical. It will consider how historical and collective trauma can manifest in individual psychodynamics, as well as how the denial and projection of trauma, by victims and by perpetrators, compounds traumatic suffering over time.
Hirschberger, G. (2018). Collective Trauma and the Social Construction of Meaning. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1441. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01441
Menakem, R. (2071). My grandmother’s hands. Central Recovery Press.
Psychoanalytic theories are all written from within a particular social and historical context. Beyond that, they are simply sets of ideas, deriving any transitory truth value from their clinical usefulness. Unfortunately, these ideas have typically been taken as truths and their cultural contexts ignored. This tendency is particularly damaging to non-dominant groups, but it hinders all of us in our ability to think flexibly and creatively in our work. I believe it is important to critique all accepted notions in our field and particularly to notice where they are laden with implicit biases that further marginalize the experience of non-dominant groups. I welcome participants doing so in my classes. I look forward to us all being fully conscious, discerning readers and to discussing when and where damaging biases emerge.
Maria Pilar Bratko
Implicit in my approach to teaching is my diverse social location. My identity comprises an experiential understanding of the immigrant experience, bilingualism, biculturalism, and biracial identity formation. I have also crossed economic class lines and expanded my sexual orientation. As such, when these aspects of identity enter the discourse, I will address the systems that oppress individuals based on any of these aspects.
That said, I hold accountability for my limitations related to the marginalized experience as it relates to (dis)ablism, body size, gender expression and sexual identity. If and when these aspects of the marginalized identity arise, I will hold and protect space for addressing these areas to the best of my knowledge.
At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:
Describe hyperarousal, hypoarousal, and the window of tolerance, and identify the relevance of these states to work with traumatized patients.
Identify the characteristics of disorganized attachment, its correlates at 4 months, and its implications for later development.
Define the skin ego and explain how ruptures in the skin ego may be heard in the formal signifiers in a patient’s speech.
Apply an intergenerational trauma model to symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Compare theories of intrapsychic reparation with social-psychic conceptions of reparations.
Bateman, A. and P. Fonagy (2008). 8-Year Follow-Up of Patients Treated for Borderline Personality Disorder: Mentalization-Based Treatment Versus Treatment as Usual. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(5), 631–638. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07040636.
Beebe, B., Lachmann, F., Markese, S., Buck, K. A., Bahrick, L. E., Chen, H., . . . Jaffe, J. (2012). On the origins of disorganized attachment and internal working models: II. An empirical microanalysis of 4-month mother-infant interaction. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22, 352-374.
DeMaat, S., et al., (2013). The current state of the empirical evidence for psychoanalysis: a meta-analytic approach. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, v. 21 (3), 2013.
Fonagy, P. et al. (2015) Pragmatic randomized controlled trial of long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression: the Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS). World Psychiatry, 14:312–321.
Marmarosh, C., (2012). Empirically Supported Perspectives on Transference in Psychotherapy Theory Research Practice Training, 49(3): 364-9.
Maria Pilar Bratko, MFT, is a bilingual (Spanish-English) MFT working with individuals, couples, and adolescents who are bi- and multi-racial, bilingual, and immigrants. In private practice in Oakland for over a decade, Maria holds a master’s degree in Feminist Clinical Psychology from New College, completed post-graduate training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, and in 2016 left her appointment as clinical director of The Women’s Therapy Center in Berkeley to complete a Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work at Smith College School for Social Work. She has presented her dissertation research exploring use of native language in bilingual treatment at several international conferences.
Forrest Hamer Ph.D., is a graduate and faculty member at SFCP. He is the author of three collections of poems, most recently Rift (Four Way Books), and he is in private practice in Oakland.
Paula Mandel, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst at PINC, where she is on the teaching faculty and is co-chair of the Visiting Scholars committee. She has supervised and taught at numerous Bay Area locations. Her discussion of Jonathon Sklar’s “Violence, Destruction and Survival; Regression at the Level of the Basic Fault” is currently in press.
This 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.
Students not admitted due to space limitation will receive a full refund of their deposit. Cancellations prior to Friday, August 20, 2021: Full refund of deposit minus $100 administration charge. Cancellations after Friday, August 20, 2021: No refund provided.