Off the Couch Podcast

On Off the Couch we meet psychoanalysts who work in dialysis units, prenatal clinics, corporate board rooms, community centers, humanitarian organizations, and with vineyard workers just to name a few. We hope these conversations expand our awareness of how broadly psychoanalytic thinking extends into our communities. 

Off the Couch
 is produced and hosted by Harvey Schwartz MD, Chair of the IPA in Health Committee, and Steven S. Rolfe MD.

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Latest Episode

Episode 115: Dynamic Psychotherapy of a Tortured Patient: Mentalization, Counter-transference, and Culture with Sverre Varvin, MD, Dr. Philos

We begin by appreciating Sverre’s work on the torture-induced impingements on intrapsychic meaning-making. We also learn about the role of community and culture in supporting renewed meaning-making – a vital aspect of rehuminazation. We consider the case of Hassan and come to understand the impact on him of the horrific abuses he suffered and what it means to the analyst who comes to hear about and ‘experience’ such depths of depravity. We discuss survivor guilt, mourning, and disillusionment. Sverre shares with us aspects of his own childhood that have contributed to his interest in this work. We conclude with learning about the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Society and its involvement in assisting colleagues in Ukraine.

Our Guest: Sverre Varvin, MD, Dr. Philos is a training analyst at the Norwegian Psychoanalytical Society. He is a professor emeritus at Oslo Metropolitan University. He has had several positions in IPA. Currently, he is chair of the IPA China Committee and a member of the refugee subcommittee of the Humanitarian Field committee. He has been working with traumatized refugees for more than 30 years: clinically, with research, and in the humanitarian field. He has done human rights work as chair of the Norwegian Medical Association’s committee on human rights in the Balkans (former Yugoslavia), Turkey, and China. He has tried to understand the impact of atrocities on individuals and groups and has been specially occupied with dehumanization and re-humanization. Dr. Varvin will be a keynote speaker at the IPA Congress in Cartegena, Colombia in July 2023.
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2 August 2022