Course Title: To Live Before Dying: The Values of Psychoanalysis (12 CE credits)
Instructor: Peter Shabad, PhD
Meeting dates (2018): Sept. 17, Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22 Meeting time: Mondays, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: 180 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
How have psychoanalytic views of what it means to live a fulfilling life guided the clinical practice of psychoanalysis? How does the therapist’s personal journey through suffering and loss toward redemptive ideals inform the ideology and values of his/her/their countertransference? In this course, we will explore the implicit assumptions and values that undergird psychoanalytic theory and practice.
We will begin by examining how the revolutionary aspects of psychoanalytic inquiry – curiosity, understanding, and the talking cure – defy the age-old fear of word-magic. We will trace how Freud’s thinking with regard to suffering, adaptation, and growth led to his recommendations for analytic technique; further, we will consider Otto Rank’s critique of Freud’s therapeutic ideology.
I will then delineate my own theory of human development and the problems of reactive passivity that ensue when shame keeps individuals enclosed in their own despairing solitude. We will discuss the importance of the therapist’s respect for the patient’s freedom of dignity as an intentional agent in his/her/their own life, even when that agency entails “resistance” to therapeutic progress. Finally, we will examine the paradoxical tension between the professional and personal within the therapist’s clinical identity, and the importance of the therapist’s use of the personal in participatory listening and witnessing the patient’s journey of suffering. Such witnessing is indispensable to the mourning that leads toward the patient’s inner freedom.
Peter Shabad, PhD is Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP). He is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, 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: Passion, 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 psychotherapy.