The Analyst’s Torment: Unbearable Mental States…

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Organised by:

Tavistock Relationships

04 March 2024

Time: 13:00 - 14:00

Price: £30.00 (£25.50 Trainee/NHS/Subscriber)

Location: online


The Analyst’s Torment: Unbearable Mental States in Countertransference
Karnac Author Series

With Dhwani Shah

In contrast to exploring the patient’s mind from a safe distance, this conference will focus on the clinician’s feelings, subjective experiences, and histories, and their impact on the intersubjective space of the therapeutic encounter. Understanding our own motivations and difficulties with painful mental states generated in therapy is at the heart of an ethical clinical practice. This authentic self-exploration is vital for every unique encounter within the shared space of both the analyst and patient.

In this program, Dhwani Shah will explore how the analyst’s uncomfortable and disowned emotional states of mind are inevitably entangled with the therapeutic process and have the potential to derail or facilitate therapeutic work. Specific emotional and mental states will be explored in detail, including dread, arrogance, dissociation, and shame. These experiences illustrate common ways in which therapists stop listening and struggle in the face of uncertainty and intensity.

Through theoretical and clinical material, Dhwani will attempt to demonstrate how the analyst’s capacity to experience and work with these states is vital to understanding and metabolizing patients’ emotional experiences and maintaining an ethical and therapeutic stance. Please join us for a talk followed by a discussion.

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