Peter Shabad, PhD
March 20-21, 2021
Peter Shabad, PhD is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern University Medical School. He is also on the Core Teaching and Supervising Faculty of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and Faculty of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Dr. Shabad is co-editor of The Problem of Loss and Mourning: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (IUP, 1989) and is the author of Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy (Aronson, 2001). Dr. Shabad is currently working on a new book entitled Seizing The Vital Moment: Trauma, Shame, and Mourning to be published by Routledge. He is the author of numerous papers and book chapters on diverse topics such as the psychological implications of death, loss and mourning, giving and receiving, shame, parental envy, resentment, spite, and regret. Dr. Shabad has a private practice in Chicago in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy.
Seminar Title: Trauma, Shame, and Mourning
In this course we will explore how traumatic and chronically disillusioning experiences have profoundly inhibiting effects on the passion necessary to grow and change throughout life. We will devote special attention to how human beings transform their traumatic experiences outside of their control into shameful failures, in which they “blame the victim” in themselves for being a victim. After describing how the “intimate creation” of one’s unique constellation of symptoms is a means of both communicating and memorializing such traumatic experiences, we will examine how shame leads to character passivity and interrelated dynamics such as self-pity, resentment, entitlement, envy, perverse spite, and regret. In the clinical section of the course, we will explore how the patient’s passivity and ambivalence towards therapeutic change is closely intertwined with his/her chronic struggle between the freedom to desire and obeying a tyranny of shoulds. In this regard, we will also highlight important clinical tensions between developmental determinism and freedom of will, and corresponding countertransference tensions of love versus respect in the analyst’s attitude toward the patient. Finally, we will discuss how the mourning process of accepting and reintegrating one’s shamed desires paradoxically facilitates the generosity of relinquishing the necessity that those desires be fulfilled. In addition to analytic readings, we will also read Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground and Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych.
Dostoevsky, F. (1864). Notes from the underground. In The Best Short Stories of Dostoevsky, (D. Magarshack, Trans). New York: Modern Library.
Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and melancholia. Standard Edition: 243-258.
Rank, O. (1936). Illness and healing chapter, in Will Therapy. New York: Knopf.
Shabad, P. (2001). Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in
Psychotherapy. Northvale, N.J: Jason Aronson.
Shabad, P. (2007). Between determinism and self-blame: The freedom to choose
oneself. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 43(4), pp. 587-604.
Shabad, P. (2010). The suffering of passion. Metamorphoses and the embrace of the
stranger. Psychoanalytic Dialogues 20: 710-729.
Tolstoy, L. (1886). The death of Ivan Ilych. New York: Signet. 1960.
Winnicott, D.W. (1949). Mind and its relation to the psyche-soma. In Through
Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis. New York: Basic Books. 1975.