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Fridays @ CCP: Doppelgangers in the Mirror: Identifications with the Oppressor and Traumatic Psychosocial Inductions (Claude Barbre, PhD)

  • 26 Feb 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Zoom
  • 327


  • If you are a current CCP member, events are free of charge.
  • Non-CCP members who are also not students
  • Non-CCP members who are students. (No Continuing Education credit provided.)

Registration is closed

Fridays@CCP February 26, 2021 

Claude Barbre, M.S., M.Div., Ph.D., L.P.

Doppelgangers in the Mirror: Identifications with the Oppressor and Traumatic Psychosocial Inductions

7-9pm (CST): ZOOM Presentation and discussion

*** A recording will NOT be available for this session. ***


About the presentation:  In The Confusion of Tongues (1933), Sandor Ferenczi describes a parent-child experience where seduction and trauma predominate due to the narcissistic adult’s misinterpretation of the child’s natural need of affection, tenderness, and relatedness— a childist and destructive misinterpretation which is the adult’s own disturbed projection onto the child. Ferenczi argues that the overwhelmed child defends against the trauma by identification and introjection of the aggressor. Such identifications may lead to both dissociation from and reenactment of the aggressor’s power in order to defend against the terrible feelings and embodied memories of victimization and helpless subordination. Drawing from Ferenczi, in this presentation we will explore how identifications with the aggressor and oppressor in response to psychosocial traumatic inductions can function as individual and collective forces, driving traumatic reenactments through cycles of cultural and relational repetitions. With a social-psychoanalytic lens, we will examine how the identification with the oppressor recreates intergenerational traumas reflective of the victim-victimizer tangle in subsequent reenactments. In doing so, we will explore the daimonic nature of intergenerational transmissions of trauma with a particular reevaluation of how trauma defenses—in particular, identifications with the aggressor/oppressor-- inhabit the individual psyche and cultural discourse. As Augustine noted, “The dead are invisible, but not absent.” We will see that traumatic events that are denied validity and symbolization become ghostly hauntings—what psychoanalysts describe as “trauma trails” (Atkinson, 2009), or “preservative repression” and “encrypted secrets” (Abraham and Torok, 1994) that can deeply influence transgenerational family and social systems, especially in regard to shame, guilt, disavowal, and prejudice. What is left unresolved in history finds its way into our present dwelling as traumatic hauntings, or “daimon genealogies,” and lead to trauma “weathering” and “whataboutery”- terms used to define how trauma can dominate political and social identifications. These dynamics can be seen in white racial induction and racial “othering.” Clinical examples will be given, and how cycles of trauma reenactments can be diminished and understood will be discussed and explored. For Ferenczi the eventual reemergence of past traumas are unavoidable in therapy situations, and we will see that such traumatic re-emergences function on a collective and societal level, creating complex links to the realms of unacknowledged individual and cultural reenactments.

Claude Barbre, M.S., M.Div., Ph.D., L.P.is Distinguished Full Professor, Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Department, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Barbre is Course Lead Coordinator of the Psychodynamic Orientation at The Chicago School, a faculty member of the Child and Adolescent Area of Study, and lead faculty in the Psychology and Spirituality Studies. He has counseled adults, children, and families for over 35 years, and served for 12 years as Executive Director of The Harlem Family Institute, a New York City school-based, psychoanalytic training program, working with children and families in high-needs neighborhoods. An associate editor of the Journal of Religion and Health: Psychology, Spirituality, and Medicine (Springer Press) for 15 years, his edited books include: with Esther Menaker, The Freedom to Inquire (Jason Aronson, 1995), and Separation Will, and Creativity: The Wisdom of Otto Rank (Aronson, 1996); with Alan Roland, and Barry Ulanov, Creative Dissent: Psychoanalysis in Evolution (ABC-Clio Press, 2003); and with Marcella Weiner and Paul C. Cooper, Psychotherapy and Religion: Many Paths, One Journey (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005). In addition, he is a William B. Given Jr. Fellow of the Episcopal Church Foundation, and a Daniel Day Williams Fellow in Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. Author of prize-winning articles, books, and poetry, Dr. Barbre is an eight-time nominee and five-time recipient of the international Gradiva Award, presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) for “outstanding contributions to psychoanalysis and the arts.” He is also the recipient of the 2017 Ted Rubenstein Inspired Teaching Award, and the 2018 Distinguished International Research and Scholarship Award, presented by the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Barbre is currently a Board Member and Training Supervisor at The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP), and is in private practice in Chicago IL.

Learning objectives:

  1. In this presentation we will learn about the nature of trauma defenses, drawing from Ferenczi’s writing on the “identification with the aggressor” in order to explore psychosocial traumatic inductions in the individual.
  2. In this presentation we will describe how the identification with the aggressor can also function on a collective level in response to cultural trauma and social reenactments, especially in regard to issues found in identifications with the oppressor, and how these intergenerational transmissions create victim-victimizer cycles of suffering.
  3. In this presentation we will examine the effects of intergenerational trauma on collective identifications and beliefs, especially in terms of “daimon genealogies” and collective hauntings found in the anatomies of generational prejudice and social identities. 

This is a beginning and intermediate  level presentation.


CCP members: free with annual $175 membership, payable at registration. Students:free with annual $125 membership, payable at registration.Fellows: free with annual $150 membership, payable at registration.Non-CCP members, single admission: $50Student non-members, single admission: $15

Continuing Education

This program is sponsored for Continuing Education Credits by the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. There is no commercial support for this program, nor are there any relationships between the continuing education sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could be construed as conflicts of interest. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If the program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. CCP is licensed by the state of Illinois to sponsor continuing education credits for Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Counselors and Licensed Clinical Psychologists (license no. 159.000941 and 268.000020 and 168.000238 Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation).

Professionals holding the aforementioned credentials will receive 2.0 continuing education credits for attending the entire program. To receive these credits a completed evaluation form must be turned in at the end of the presentation and licensed psychologists must first complete a brief exam on the subject matter. No continuing education credit will be given for attending part of the presentation. Refunds for CE credit after the program begins will not be honored. If a participant has special needs or concerns about the program, s/he should contact Toula Kourliouros Kalven by February 25, 2021 at tkalven@ccpsa.org

References/Suggested Reading

Wilkerson, I. (2020). Caste: The origins of our discontents. New York: Random House.

Ferenczi, S. (1933). Confusion of tongues between adults and children: The language of tenderness and passion. In Final contributions to the problem and methods of psychoanalysis (pp. 156-167). London: Hogarth Press (1955).

Frosh, S. (2013). Hauntings: Psychoanalysis and ghostly transmissions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

O’Loughlin, M. and Charles, M. (2015). Fragments of trauma and the social production of suffering. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Schutzenberger, A.A. (1998). The ancestor syndrome: Transgenerational psychology and the hidden links in the family tree. London and New York: Routledge Books.

Thandeka (1999). Learning to be white. New York: Continuum Press.

Presented by

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis/CCP Program Committee: Carol Ganzer, PhD, Toula Kourliouros Kalven,  Adina Bayuk Keesom, PsyD

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis is an IRS 501(C)(3) charitable organization, and expenses may be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and your personal tax situation.

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Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 6095, Evanston, IL 60204-6095

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