Dr. Nancy McWilliams
TICP-Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Click below for ONLINE REGISTRATION or call 416-288-8060
OVERVIEW OF THE DAY
Psychological Wellness: An Elusive Ideal
Psychoanalysts are under considerable pressure contemporarily to state therapy goals in terms of symptom relief and behavior change. This narrow focus reflects the interests of insurance and pharmaceutical corporations, which profit from defining wellness as the absence of observable symptoms and problematic behaviors. It also reflects the needs of researchers to operationalize therapy in statistically manageable ways, a paradigm that has been misapplied to clinical practice. We need to encourage conversations about overall psychological health as it has been conceptualized over a century of psychotherapy practice and in different cultural contexts. Dr. McWilliams will review both traditional and more recent conceptualizations of overall mental and emotional health and will discuss their therapeutic implications.
Self-Defeating Patterns and Their Clinical Implications
This workshop will differentiate self-defeating (masochistic, aggrieved) personality patterns from depressive psychologies, explore subtypes of masochistic personality patterns, and suggest ways of dealing with these clinically challenging clients. A case description by the presenter will illustrate the theoretical and empirical material reviewed.
The problem of masochism, or recurrent self-defeating behavior, has been an ongoing concern of therapists for decades, through many paradigm shifts in our field. When do certain powerful human strivings - to venerate, to surrender to something greater than the self, to sacrifice one’s own well-being for a greater good - become pathological? How can therapists help pathologically masochistic patients? How can they contain the intense feelings that such clients evoke in them so that they avoid acting in either sadistic or masochistic ways in response?
This workshop will explore these questions with reference to the literature from clinical psychoanalysis, personality psychology, the humanistic tradition in psychotherapy, and recent empirical work in areas such as attachment and neuroscience. Self-defeating patterns will be differentiated from depressive dynamics, with which they overlap and are easily confused. Moral and relational versions of masochism will be compared, and their clinical implications explored. The conceptual material will be illustrated by vignettes and also by the in-depth presentation of a characterologically self-defeating client treated by Dr. McWilliams.
SCHEDULE FOR THE DAY
10:00 Introduction (Brent Willock)
10:10 Psychological Wellness: An Elusive Ideal (Nancy McWillians)
11:10 Discussion with Audience
12:00 - 2:00 Lunch (on your own)
2:00 Masochism Revisited: Some Thoughts on Addressing Self-Defeating Patterns (Nancy McWilliams)
3:00 Discussion with Audience
4:00 Closing Remarks (Brent Willock)
JANUARY 26, 2013: Dr. Donnel Stern
MAY 25, 2013: Dr. Mal Slavin
OCTOBER 5, 2013: Dr. Michael Eigen