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SCHIZOID PERSONALITY and SCHIZOID PHENOMENA

2nd Trimester of Year 2 of the Two-Year Certificate Program in Object Relations Clinical theory and Technique;

2nd Trimester of Year Three of the Full Training in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

(This course can be taken also as a separate certificate course, with or without the Group Supervision class)

(12.5 hrs of post-graduate training certificate)

Course calendar: January 3rd - March 7th, 2013; Thursdays, 8:15-9:30pm

Instructor: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NPsyA, D.Litt

Location: 115 East 9th Street, 12P; NYC, 10003 - or Virtual participation

Fee: $450/ 10-week course

This course will offer readings, lectures, and discussions of all the psychodynamic mental operations and psychic phenomenology related to the whole human continuum of schizoid phenomena, including schizoid personality disorder.  The course instructor, Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler , is an object relations psychoanalytic theorist who has published cases on well known schizoid artists and writers (Emily Dickinson and Emily Bronte), as well as on patients with schizoid phenomena in clinical treatment.

With readings by the classic British object relations theorists Ronald Fairbairn and Harry Guntrip, as well by more current American theorists, such as Jeffrey Seinfeld, James Masterson, Thomas Ogden, and Susan Kavaler-Adler, this course offers various fundamental and critical perspectives to open up the clinician’s consciousness to the traps, impasses, and developmental arrests related to treating people with schizoid personality disorder and those with more moderate schizoid dynamics.  This course will also help open the clinician’s consciousness to the slow and gradual psychic change and psychic integration process that takes place at a profoundly primal core-self level.

Within this course, we will look at the “need/fear dilemma” of the schizoid, and at the “in and out solution,” as well as at the “schizoid compromise” and the desperate need for contact and connection in the sealed-off person. This person usually lives through intellectual permutations of internal world self and other object constellations, and through related fantasy and dream imagery, while simultaneously feeling suffocated and empty. A schizoid person desperately craves the connection with others and the outside world, but  he/ she is frightened about devouring and destroying the other with his/her own "vacuum cleaner" "sucking" needs. 

We will look also at the attempt of a schizoid to live life vicariously through vivid and sophisticated psychic fantasy, as can be seen in the literature; e.g., in writings of Henry James and Emily Dickinson.  We will look at an arrested psychic structure of a schizoid personality that cannot psychically digest the others. This results in attempts to "swallow" others whole, as in a form of psychic anorexia and psychic bulimia, when psychic internalization is not possible. Then, psychic incorporation and “living through identifications” is the fate of an affectively isolated and often literally withdrawn individual, who looks at others in the world as if peering through a window, always on the outside, looking in at the others, who seem so alive, involved, and connected. 

Creating oneself and others through stories in one’s mind (based on preverbal mother and self primal incorporations) becomes a world of illusions that is often mistaken for reality in the schizoid personality. When living in the world is aborted, one can live a “living death” in “alabaster chambers” as Emily Dickinson did at her most withdrawn and regressed times, and yet create some of the world’s most profound literature and poetry. 

1)      Reading for 1st class:  “Schizoid Factors in the Personality," by Ronald Fairbairn (1940), in Fairbairn’s Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (1952), Chapter 1 (pp. 3-27). This book in electronic format will be emailed to all participants.

2)      Reading for 2nd class: “The Repression and the Return of Bad Objects” (1943), in Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (1952), Chapter 3 (pp. 59-81).

3)      Reading for 3rd class:  “Endopsychic  Structure Considered in Terms of Object-Relationships” (1944), in Ronald Fairbairn’s Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (1952), Chapter 4 (pp. 82-132).

4)       Reading for the 4th class:  “The Schizoid Personality and the External World,” in Harry Guntrip’s Schizoid Phenomena,  Object-Relations, and The Self (1969), New York, International Universities Press, pp. 17-48.

5)      Reading for the 5th class:  James F. Masterson, The Personality Disorders: A New Look at the Developmental Self and Object Relations Approach, 2000, Zeig, Tucker and Co., Inc., Phoenix, AZ, pp. 72-138, sections on “The Schizoid Disorder” and “Differential diagnosis—Between Personality Disorders,” “Differential Diagnosis, Defensive Focus”

6)      Reading for the 6th class: Jeffrey Seinfeld,  Empty Core: An Object Relations Approach To Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Personality,Jason Aronson, 1991.  Read two sections: “Direct Interpretation of a Schizoid Obsession” (pp. 53 to 73) and “Confrontation of the Schizoid Patient” (pp. 143-173).

7)      Reading for the 7th class: Susan Kavaler-Adler, The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers, Routledge 1993, Other Press 2000, Chapter 11 on “Emily Dickinson: Muse and Demon.”

8)      Reading for the 8th class: Susan Kavaler-Adler, The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers, Routledge 1993, Other Press 2000, Chapter 12 on “Emily Dickinson’s Breakdown: Renunciation and Reparation.”

9)      Reading for the 9th class: Susan Kavaler-Adler, The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers, Routledge 1993, Other Press 2000, Chapter 9 on “Emily Bronte I: The Messenger of Hope and the Demon in the Nightwind,” and Chapter 10 on “Emily Bronte II: Wuthering Heights, Chapter 10 in The Compulsion to Create, by Susan Kavaler-Adler.

10)   Reading for 10th class: article by Susan Kavaler-Adler:  “Anatomy of Regret: A Developmental view of the Depressive Position and a Critical Turn Toward Love and Creativity in the Transforming Schizoid Personality.”  , from the American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 2004, 64 (1), pp. 39-76.  This article will be distributed to all students.

For Registration Form, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Dr. Kavaler-Adler at drkavaleradler@gmail.com or call the ORI administrator Dr. Inna Rozentsvit at 646-522-1056.


Contributions of Ronald Fairbairn:

Ronald Fairbairn was the first psychoanalytic theorist to explicitly proclaim that from the beginning of our lives, we strive to connect with another human being, and that this striving is primal and fundamental for being a human. In contrast to any thinking about narcissism as a primary rather than a secondary phenomenon, Fairbairn was the first of the British object relations theorists to declare that the need for connection is the most basic human need, and that all psychopathology stems from early attachments to “bad” objects (primary caregivers); “bad” in terms of disruptions of and failing to support developmental growth of the human psyche.  Addiction to those “bad” objects, who abandon, abusively intrude, or attack, or those who detach from the child’s most fundamental emotional needs, becomes the cause of internal and external world repetitions of failed parenting. Loyalty to the sabotaging internal object, derived from the primal caregivers, results in perpetual self sabotage, unless successful object relations psychotherapy intervenes. 

Only the contact and connection with another human being in psychological treatment can heal the early trauma and its addictions, which repeat that trauma throughout life.  By understanding that the full pathological characters are compulsively "swallowed whole" by innocent children, who are by their very nature hungering for relationships and identifications with their parents, Fairbairn was particularly able to pin point the core causation of any character disorders that stem from trauma in the first three years of life.

He also was then able to understand that children will inevitably blame themselves for the problems of their parents, as they are totally dependent on parents, while full but dissociated parts of the parents oppose and attack their most powerful emotional and psychological needs.  No child can survive with consciousness that the early mother, and the later parents (who they are bound to by absolute dependence) are inadequate, incapable, or even seriously dangerous to their well-being.  Instead, children will turn the blame against themselves to protect the image of the parents, and to create the illusion that they are safe, when the truth would devastate them to the point of psychic self-annihilation. 

Fairbairn understood this, and spoke of the moral defense in the language of the church, as he had once studied to become a minister.  He wrote in his famous 1952 “Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality” that “…it is better to be a sinner in a world ruled by God than to live in a world ruled by the Devil.” 

Here, Fairbairn conveyed to the world that a helpless child must idealize a parent, no matter how pathological that parent is, in order to preserve a fragile sanctity based on a belief that the world is safe enough.  The child would rather be "bad," and make up reasons to attribute badness to herself or himself, than to have to face the intolerable truth that the parent is bad in the sense of being actually dangerous or seriously inadequate.  This kind of thinking overlaps with Ferenczi’s view of trauma in children, and with Michael Balint’s view of “the basic fault,” and with many others, including D. W. Winnicott, who looked at trauma disrupting early human development. 

Fairbairn also overlaps with Melanie Klein in seeing that each person carries inside an internal world of fantasy object relations, however for Fairbairn the internal object relationships are vividly created through the internalization of the actual maladies in the child’s parents, and in how the parent ignores, abandons, or abuses this child in reality.  The internalization of malignant or poor attachments then plays a major role in determining the personality of the growing child.  As Freud said in Mourning and Melancholia (1917), “the shadow of the object [i.e., a parent] fell upon the ego” of the growing child. 

Fairbairn saw an infant as a person who has wholeness within itself in the beginning, with human motivation having both energy and structure, his “libidinal ego.”   It is only due to the weakness and failures of all parenting, and particularly of parenting by parents with character pathology, that a whole being with energy and structure gets split up and divided apart, with one ("bad") part attacking or inhibiting the healthy strivings towards connection with others in the external world.     

For Course Syllabus, click HERE

For more information about Ronald Fairbairn, follow the LINK HERE.


        Self-Sabotage - from Jungian, Kleinian, and Fairbairnian Perspectives  Highlights of the ORI's 21st Annual 2012 Conference on Self-Sabotage: Jungian, Kleinian,  and Fairbairnian Perspectives.  

Highlights of the ORI's 2011 Annual 20th Anniversary Conference on Dialectics of Mortality and Immortality: Time as a Persecutory vs. a Holding Object.

Highlights of the ORI's 2010 Annual Conference on Psychoanalysis & Spirituality

Highlights of the ORI's 2009 Annual Conference on Eroticized Demonic Object

Visit ORI's YouTube Channel, ObjectRelations2009, to view NEW mini-video series "The Object Relations View"

Intro to the Object Relations Thinking and Clinical Technique - with Dr. Kavaler-Adler (part 1).

Projective Identification (part 2)

Time as an Object (part 3)

Self Sabotage - (part 4)

        Fear of Success (part 5)

        Mourning, Developmental vs. Pathological  (part 6)

        Bad Objects and Loyalty to Bad Objects (part 7)

        Demon-lover Complex  (part 8)

        Psychic Regret (part 9)

        Klein-Winnicott Dialectic  (part 10)

        Depression: The Object Relations View (part 11)

        Anxiety: The Object Relations View (part 12)

        Eating Disorders: The Object Relations View (part 13)

        Narcissism: The Object Relations View (part 14)

        Female Creativity and the Internal Father (part 15)

        Psychic Dialectic: The Object Relations View (part 16)

        Writing Blocks: The Object Relations View (part 17)

        Internal Editor and Internal Saboteur: The Object Relations View (part 18)

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New: Tel: 646.522.0387  Fax: 718.785.3270  Email: admin@ORINYC.org

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