Trauma: Fusion and Confusion in the Analytic Dyad

Trauma: Fusion and Confusion in the Analytic Dyad

Videoconference Winter 2023

Trauma: Fusion and Confusion in the Analytic Dyad
Presenter: Judy K. Eekhoff, PhD
Live Interactive Online Webinar
December 2, 2023
10:00 am - 12:00 pm (PDT); 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (EDT)

Moderator: Maureen Murphy, PhD
Content Level: Intermediate
One-Session Program: 2 CEs
Member Fee: $80.00
Candidate/Student Fee: $50.00

This videoconference is co-sponsored by The Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS) and The Contemporary Freudian Society (CFS).

Course Description
This presentation will use clinical examples to demonstrate the process of working with patients who have been traumatized before they had an organizing mind able to process the trauma. They frequently have difficulty with relationships, retreating from object relations and continuing to relate to others concretely as things or functions. Their relations are body relations, consisting of unconscious symbiotic union with others. They also do not easily tolerate differentiation and individuation, living in phantasy inside their objects-the psychic space within and between psyches collapsed. As a defense, they perceive themselves, and therefore others, as flat and two-dimensional. We might say they are fused with them.
For the analyst who is accustomed to working in the symbolic order, confrontation with such concretization and primal somatopsychic relational processes can be confusing and disorienting.
Analysts frequently report not being able to find meaning in their words or emotion in their narratives. When meaning does not appear in the analyst’s confused mind, unmediated affect such as rage, extreme maternal care, intense love or violent hate, can arise inside the analyst and manifest as fusion and confusion in the dyad. If the analyst can learn to value the confusion as information, containment of previously unrepresented experience can result in the development of a three-dimensional analytic space and be internalized by the patient.

After this course, participants will be able to:
Differentiate a confusional object from a transitional object.
Recognize a somatic defense as found in “language as action”.
Discuss the value of pathological mimicry.

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Judy K Eekhoff, PhD, FIPA, is an IPA certified training and supervising psychoanalyst and a licensed child psychologist. Dr. Eekhoff is a full member and past president of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and a faculty member of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in Seattle Washington. She is the author of numerous papers and book chapters as well as two books; Trauma and Primitive Mental States: An Object Relations Perspective and Bion and Primitive Mental States: Trauma and the Symbiotic Link.
Maureen Murphy, PhD, is a Personal and Supervising Analyst and Faculty member at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. She is the Co-Coordinator of PINC’s Distance Learning Program. She teaches courses on contemporary psychosomatic concepts particularly the impact of burgeoning biotechnology on core psychoanalytic concepts and on adult development and aging. She maintains a private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in San Francisco.


For more information contact:
Diana Daimwood
[email protected]