43rd ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE

INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOHISTORICAL ASSOCIATION:

PART III: OCTOBER 10-11, 2020

Conference Program Below is Followed by Abstracts and Bios 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10

8:30-8:55 am  GoToMeeting Orientation

8:55 am  Intro by IPA President Brian D’Agostino

9:00-10:00 am  (#11) A Language of Hope and Moral Clarity: Toni Morrison and Psychohistory (Claude Barbre, PhD, LP)

10:00-10:10 am  Break

10:10 am-12:20 pm  Panel: Donald Trump in Our Consulting Rooms

  • (#12) Through the Mirror of Narcissism and What Trump Found There (Marcie Newton, PhD)
  • (#13) “His Majesty the Baby”: Trump in the Consulting Room (Stefanie Teitelbaum, MSW, LCSW)

12:20-1:00 pm  Lunch

1:00-3:10 pm  Panel: Quest for a Scientific Psychology: Historical Investigations 

  • (#14) On the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis: Benjamin B. Rubinstein and His Friends (Juhani Ihanus, PhD)
  • (#15) Search for the Unholy Grail: Genes, Behavior, and the War of the Researchers (Faye Snyder, PsyD)

3:10-3:20 pm  Break

3:20-4:20 pm – (#16) From Tribal Womb to Nourishing Womb: A Journey from Persecution to Psychic Birth (Padma Desai, LMHC, LPC)

4:20-4:30 pm  Break

4:30-5:30 pm  Group Process

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11

8:40-9:00 am  GoToMeeting Orientation

9:00-10:00 am  Carol Jaxon-Jager (title to be announced) (no CEs)

10:00-10:10 am  Break

10:10 AM-12:20 pm  Panel: Psychodynamics of Stress: From Vamik Volkan to the Pandemic

  • (#17) On Learning From Volkan: Integrating Vamik Volkan's Theory Into Psychoanalytic Practice (Joyce M. Rosenberg, JD, LP)
  • (#18) Psychological Trauma in the COVID-19 Pandemic and in War (Kenneth A. Fuchsman, Ed.D)

12:20-1:00 pm  Lunch

1:00-3:10 pm  Women in Red: Attraction, Power and Patriarchy

  • (#19) Patriarchy Today: Does Backslide Have an Upside (Judith Logue, PhD)
  • (#20)Trump’s Women: Narcissistically Attached to Power (Ellen Toronto, PhD)

3:10-3:20 pm  Break

3:20-4:20 pm  Moderated Discussion for Saturday and Sunday Presentations

4:20-4:30 pm  Break

4:30-5:30 pm  Group Process


PRESENTATION TITLES, PRESENTERS AND ABSTRACTS

(in alphabetical order by presenter last name)

TITLE: A Language of Hope and Moral Clarity: Toni Morrison and Psychohistory

PRESENTER: Claude Barbre, Ph.D., L.P.

ABSTRACT: Throughout Toni Morrison’s novels, essays, speeches, and meditations, the insistent refrain of hope and goodness in the company of evil, an unflinching gaze on harrowing experience… “race inflected, gendered, colonialized, displaced, hunted” (Morrison, 2019). Yet, she writes, in this vision are “traces of divergent imaginaries between the sadness of no more time, or the sense of time as only a past, and an imaginary of growing expectations of time with a relentless future” (2019). She concludes: “One looks to history for the feel of time or its purgative effects; one looks through art for its signs of renewal” (2019).  Even as she underscores that to engage these imaginaries is the peril of the writer’s work, “the rescue we extend to others through art is a generosity to ourselves” (2019)—a generational transmission of love. This presentation will explore Morrison’s diverse imaginaries of hope in her last collection, The Source of Self-Regard—a gathering of essays devoted to psychohistory and memory through the lens of language and story. For example, I will explore her writing on resistance and renewal  in the liminal  and uncanny spaces of traumatic induction; agencies of spirit in the evening lands of forced or chosen migration; care as fierce resistance to dehumanization and hermeneutical violence—themes that Morrison conveys with a unblinking eye and singular voice fired in the kiln of imagination and art.

 

TITLE: From Tribal Womb to Nourishing Womb: A Journey from Persecution to Psychic Birth

PRESENTER: Padma Desai, LMHC, LPC

ABSTRACT:  This paper will discuss the internalized experience of both groups and culture as persecutory objects enshrined in an individual womb limiting psychic birth and subjectivity of the nascent Self within. Subjectivity will be examined from the perspective of holding and containing, internalization, regression, destruction, and psychic survival that resulted from the process of becoming. A clinical vignette will trace the movement from a closed intrapsychic system experienced by the Self as “larger than life” tribal family/group, to the eventual escape and freedom as a subjective Self able to retain elements of the tribe on the way to full psychic birth.

TITLE: Psychological Trauma in the COVID-19 Pandemic and in War

PRESENTER: Kenneth A. Fuchsman, Ed.D.

ABSTRACT: Times of mortal stress can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.  During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States acute stress is prevalent for front line health care workers who deal directly with patients ill with this virus. Domestic abuse and call to mental health hotlines have also dramatically increased while families are together nearly 24/7.  Current traumatic conditions resemble the stress of a combat zone. This paper compares wartime PTSD and the experiences of this pandemic.   

 

TITLE: On the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis: Benjamin B. Rubinstein and his friends

PRESENTER: Juhani Ihanus, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT:  The presentation concerns the Finnish-born psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Benjamin B. Rubinstein (1905–1989), who started his practice in New York in 1954.  He is a significant representative of the philosophy of psychoanalysis and a critic of metapsychology.  He co-founded the interdisciplinary annual Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Science (1972–76), which also published articles on psychohistory and psychobiography.  Rubinstein was an early predecessor of neuropsychoanalysis because he emphasized that the psychoanalytic concepts must not conflict with the results of the neurophysiological studies. 

His circle of friends and colleagues in the U.S. included Adolf Grünbaum, Robert R. Holt, George S. Klein and Emanuel Peterfreund.  They all reformed psychoanalytic theories by including current scientific research and models while also reflecting on how to advance sensitive and innovative psychoanalytic practice that applies flexible and interdisciplinary approaches.  Two ways of talking in psychoanalysis, a “person” view and an “organism” view, supplement each other.  The former is typical of psychoanalytic clinical theories and practice and the latter is typical of the natural sciences and psychoanalytic metapsychology.  Rubinstein proposed that it is possible to be both a “materialistic” scientist and an experience-near “realistic” psychotherapist at the same time.

 

TITLE: Patriarchy Today: Does Backslide Have an Upside

PRESENTER: Judith Logue, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT:  Patriarchy is a societal system, from which women are excluded, wherein the father is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line. The progressive agenda promotes a system that embraces equivalence of opportunity and/or “equality.”   A psychoanalytic perspective differs in that it acknowledges both the advantages and disadvantages; the losses and gains and can thus enable us to change from internalization and externalization of patriarchal attitudes and practices to humanistic attitudes and behaviors.

 

TITLE: Through the Mirror of Narcissism and What Trump Found There

PRESENTER: Marcie Newton, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT: Donald Trump is the first president to harness social media platforms like Twitter to make public his opinions, humiliate his opponents, forward his political agenda, and strengthen his fan base. Trump’s tweets also display his own resistance to humiliation. This is evident in tweets by those who feed and feed off Trump’s larger-than-life ego with unwavering loyalty and those who attempt, often unsuccessfully, to rupture that loyalty. Trump has walked through the mirror of narcissism and is exploring a new world on the digital side. However, to what extent is Trump’s larger-than-life ego dangerous for our youth — the future of our nation — many of whom form their identities through the image of the other on social media platforms? Utilizing insights by Freud, Lacan, and Volkan, I seek to examine Trump’s social media presence to answer this important question.

 

TITLE: On Learning From Volkan: Integrating Vamik Volkan's Theory Into Psychoanalytic Practice

PRESENTER: Joyce M. Rosenberg, JD, LP

ABSTRACT: While Vamik Volkan's writings discuss broad cultural and national dynamics, there can be a place for them in a psychoanalytic session. And given the polarization in the U.S. and Britain, and politicians’ blame of groups and countries for economic and social struggles, Volkan’s theories, which include give analysts a framework to help patients understand how demagoguery can thrive even in our times. He offers further help for patients to comprehend how these dynamics can exist in their own families and lives.

 

TITLE: Search for the Unholy Grail: Genes, Behavior, and the War of the Researchers

PRESENTER: Faye Snyder, PsyD

ABSTRACT: This paper critically re-examines the history of the “nature-nurture” debate in psychology, that is, the debate over the primacy of genes vs. childhood experiences in determining human behavior.  It tells the story of unfolding science trying to find its place in psychology.  Topics include the influence of 19th century racialist ideologies on behavioral science, the impact of Mendel’s research on the inheritance of physical traits, and the 20th century discovery of DNA and its repercussions.  Specific ways in which genetic determinist ideology have distorted behavioral research will be discussed, as well as the emergence of scientific knowledge in spite of such distortion.  

 

TITLE: “His Majesty the Baby”: Trump in The Consulting Room

PRESENTER: Stefanie Teitelbaum, MSW, LCSW

ABSTRACT:  Political comedian Samantha Bee called Mr. Trump a tyrannical 70-year-old toddler; a nice riff on Freud’s (1914) little narcissist, “His Majesty the Baby”.  In his musings on narcissism and megalomania, Bion (2018, 1990), said change cannot occur unless room is made for newness by letting go of some infantile defenses.  I will discuss similarities and differences of Bion’s and Freud’s thinking about narcissism – particularly focusing on potential efficacy of psychoanalytic treatment in the presence of narcissism and megalomania.   Bion (2018, 1990) said that without common sense, fantasy can be “felt as fact”. 

With my patient’s generous permission, clinical moments will be presented.  “Felt as fact” impacts my patient’s Trump rage.  He is often unable to believe that Trump might believe some of the things that come out of his mouth.  Screaming matches between my patient’s and Donald Trump’s “felt as fact” obliterated potential transformative work. Additionally, I explore the impact of being bombarded by “felt as fact” beta bombs in my reverie bunker.   I had to cope with a range of often primitive affects in the face of helplessness.  “Her Majesty the Baby” does not like to be helpless.   When I could, I mused and struggled with raw elements which later drove me to explore Bion’s (2018/1971) differentiation of lie and falsehood.

 

TITLE: Trump’s Women: Narcissistically Attached to Power

PRESENTER: Ellen Toronto, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT:  The devoted followers of Donald Trump, though a disparate population, appear to share in common the capacity to tolerate his misogyny. Historically, this type of adaptation was exemplified by courtesans who attached to rich and powerful men, providing sexual fulfillment in exchange for vicarious access to power.  Through examples of women, modern-day courtesans, I will illustrate, however, that, as with women’s relationship to Trump, the apparent subordination is in fact, self-serving and a means of fulfilling the depleted self.