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  • Psychoanalytic Explorations Program: Trauma, Shame and Mourning (12 CE credits)

Psychoanalytic Explorations Program: Trauma, Shame and Mourning (12 CE credits)

  • 21 Feb 2023
  • (CST)
  • 28 Mar 2023
  • (CDT)
  • 6 sessions
  • 21 Feb 2023, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • 28 Feb 2023, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • 7 Mar 2023, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • 14 Mar 2023, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • 21 Mar 2023, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • 28 Mar 2023, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • Zoom
  • 0

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Course Title:   Trauma, Shame and Mourning (12 CE credits)

Instructor:  Peter Shabad, PhD

Meeting dates (2023):  February 21, 28; March 7, 14, 21, 28                        

Meeting time: Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (CST), via Zoom

Course Description:

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 this 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.

Biographical Information:

Peter Shabad, PhD is Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Feinberg School of Medicine -- Northwestern University.  He is also Faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago.

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). He is working on a new book entitled Seizing the Vital Moment: Passion, Shame, and Self-Realization to be published by Routledge.  He is the author of numerous papers and book chapters in psychoanalysis on diverse topics such as loss and mourning, shame, resentment, and regret.  Dr. Shabad maintains a private practice in Chicago of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy.


"Nothing human is alien to me"  --Terrence

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