The Psychosomatic Function of Dissociation

The Psychosomatic Function of Dissociation

The Transitory Self: The Psychosomatic Function of Dissociation in Daily Life and in the Clinical Setting

Presenter: Peter Goldberg, PhD
Live Interactive Online Webinar

March 16, 2024
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EST); 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (PST)

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 program will consider dissociation as a distinct and universal phenomenon that serves specific functions in mental life, distinguishable from both repression and splitting. The particular workings of psychosomatic dissociation will be described in terms of ongoing adjustments in the mind’s relation to somatic states, and accompanying alterations in consciousness. I will highlight the role played by the dissociative mechanism in transitions between self states, both in everyday life and in the therapy situation. The importance of transient altered states, which enable new and creative forms of mind-body experience, will be contrasted with the pathological retreat into alter worlds - rigidly organized, timeless, often inescapable trance-like states of mind-body dislocation. We will consider the role of the therapist’s states of attention and sensory engagement with the patient, along with the role of the clinical frame, in the treatment of dissociative states of depersonalization and isolation.

Peter Goldberg is a Personal and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, is Chair of Faculty at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, and on the faculty of the Wright Institute in Berkeley. He is a co-author of Here I'm Alive: The Spirit of Music in Psychoanalysis (Columbia University Press, 2023) and has written and presented widely on a range of clinical and theoretical topics including the evolution of clinical theory in psychoanalysis, psychosomatic dissociation, sensory experience in analysis and cultural life, transitional mechanisms and the function of the analytic frame, non-representational states, and the impact of social trauma on individual psychology.