WHAT’S IN MIND?

HOW DID IT GET THERE? WHAT’S TO BE DONE?

October 23-25, 2020

This weekend will explore the notion of mentalization, the developmentally-achieved capacity to recognize that what is in our minds is a product of our experience and to know that others have minds of their own, with contents that are related to their experiences. This capacity emerges within the caregiving relationships, during the first four years of life. Deficits in mentalization appear frequently in patients with severe personality disorders and occasionally in all patients (and therapists/analysts). Improvements in this capacity are an important marker of successful treatment.

How does an appreciation for the developmental trajectory of mentalization affect one’s ways of listening to patients? How does an appreciation of this capacity lead to different ways of intervening? What difference does it make if we take a patient’s insistence that her internal world defines reality as a defensive distortion, as opposed to a failure to mentalize? These questions can stimulate active discussion/exploration in the course of the weekend. Opening ourselves to data framed in this way can change how we think and ultimately how we help patients to think.

Coordinator: David Cooper, Ph.D.

GUEST FACULTY:

STEPHEN SELIGMAN, DMH is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and Joint Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Dialogues. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis and at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, and a Clinical Professor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. His recent book, Relationships in Development: Infancy, Intersubjectivity, Attachment updates developmental psychoanalysis, tracing analytic theories of infancy and childhood since Freud and offering a contemporary synthesis of analysis and infancy research.

Additional faculty will be announced at a later date.