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  2012 Annual Conference: Voyages Into the Internal World: Archetypes, Internal Objects, and Internal Saboteurs.  Three Ways of Looking at Self-sabotage (with Jungian, Kleinian, and Fairbairnian Perspectives)

When: February 25th, 2012 (9:30am-4:30pm):   

Where: Lafayette Grill, 54 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013-4009

Moderator: Dr. Jeffrey Lewis

Presenters: Dr. Michael Vannoy Adams – Jungian perspective; Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler – Kleinian Perspective; Dr. Jack Schwartz – Fairbairnian perspective

Presenters:                                                                                                        Moderator:

                                                     

Michael V. Adams   Susan Kavaler-Adler  Jack Schwartz                               Jeffrey Lewis

Perspectives of:

                      

        Karl Jung              Melanie Klein       Ronald Fairbairn

This conference proposes to offer three profound theoretical and clinical perspectives on the collisions, collusions, and polarizations in our internal psychic world, that impede personal and communal evolution and growth.  Commonalities, overlaps, and differentiating diversities of the three overarching clinical and theoretical perspectives will be discussed by our three distinguished presenters, senior training analysts, supervisors, seasoned clinicians, and authors – Drs. Michael Adams, Susan Kavaler-Adler, and Jack Schwartz, with thought-provoking  introductions by our conference moderator, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis. Grounding it all in the clinical and existential moment, will be the linking theme among the three avenues of thought, - the ever complex theme of self-sabotage that affects each and every one of us each day! 

Our Presenters and Their Titles:

OPENING REMARKS - Dr. Jeffrey Lewis

"All three of the papers to be heard today, representing 3 major theoretical departures from the fixed and calcified Freudian drive theory, attempt to answer the aforementioned dilemma of how a supposedly pleasure-seeking, pain avoiding ego, results in such ubiquitous individual suffering and misery". 

Bio: Jeffrey Lewis, PhD – psychoanalyst in full-time independent private practice, Ferenczi scholar, Editorial Board of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Faculty and Board Member of the Object Relations Institute, and Associate Clinical Professor in the doctoral program at St. John’s University.

THE ARCHETYPE OF THE SABOTEUR: SELF-SABOTAGE FROM A JUNGIAN PERSPECTIVE - Dr. Michael Adams

Are “objects” and “archetypes” just different names for the same thing?  To answer this question, Jungian psychoanalyst Michael Vannoy Adams will analyze the function of sabotage in the psyche.  He will define what object relations psychologists mean by the “internal saboteur,” discuss the saboteur as a “bad object,” and then interpret, from a Jungian perspective, a dream that explicitly features the archetype of the saboteur.        

“There is no entry for “saboteur” in the index to the Collected Works of Jung (or, for that matter, in the index to the Standard Edition of Freud).  I know of no occasion when Jung so much as mentions the saboteur.  Sabotage is, however, a typical situation in life, and, in that respect, the saboteur is what Jung means by an archetype.   

…There are important similarities between object relations psychoanalysis and Jungian psychoanalysis, and there are important differences.  Some differences are theoretical and practical, while other differences are terminological.  Object relations psychoanalysis emphasizes objects, while Jungian psychoanalysis emphasizes images.  In a sense, what object relations psychoanalysis calls “objects,” Jungian psychoanalysis calls “images” – among them, “archetypal images.”    

Bio: Michael Vannoy Adams, DPhil., LCSW is a Jungian psychoanalyst in New York City.  He has been a faculty member and supervisor at the Object Relations Institute since 1993 and was a board member from 1997 to 2005.  He is a clinical associate professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, a faculty member at the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association, and a faculty member at the New School, where he was previously associate provost.  He is the author of three books – The Mythological Unconscious, The Fantasy Principle: Psychoanalysis of the Imagination, and The Multicultural Imagination: “Race,” Color, and the Unconscious, as well as more than 40 journal articles and book chapters.  He is the recipient of three Gradiva Awards from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.  He has been a Marshall scholar in England and a Fulbright senior lecturer in India. 

THE KLEINIAN PERSPECTIVE ON SELF-SABOTAGE: A LOOK AT THE INTERNAL WORLD AND ITS INTERNAL OBJECTS - Susan Kavaler-Adler

“In between the external world of interpersonal relations and the inchoate visceral and mental self we are born with, is the internal world of self and other enactments that are played out in our whole psychophysical being.  These dynamic internal objects are often confused with external others who we project them onto, often reacting to our experience of others only through the internal dramas perpetuated from earliest infancy and childhood that are played out in our minds. 

When we wake up from the subliminal confusion of projection and introjection, we become "interpreting subjects" (Ogden, 1986), who realize we are always subjectively creating meanings out of our reactions to others outside of us.  These meanings we create become interwoven with our beliefs and assumptions from those who we live with inside ourselves as dynamic "phantasy" (Kleinian spelling) objects.  I will be speaking of how we are all waking up from a coma to confront others in external reality, who we both long to connect with, but also fear at the same time. 

Unlike Fairbairn who thought internal objects were merely internally designed replicas of our primal external mother and parents, and distinct from but harmonious with Jung, who addressed innate archetype personifications in our collective unconscious psyche, Melanie Klein brought us into the overlapping realm of innate predispositions to engaging with others that become “phantasy”- internal others, our internal objects, and the coloration of these internal phantasies by our external experiences with others, which become more related to the external reality of others with time and development.  From a Kleinian perspective, just as our internal objects are colored by encountering external others, so too are external relationships perpetually colored by the subjective internal world of feelings.  Such feelings emerge from instinctive impulses interpenetrating internal object s and their representations, and are always linked to our interpretations of our experience of those others outside, whom we encounter and gradually learn to love.  We learn to love through awakening to distinctions between others outside our internal worlds and those dynamic phantoms within us, finding others separate from ourselves, who we discover are always interpreted by us through our internal object world, but who have an agency and vitality outside of that internal world. Eventually we also mourn loss and disappointment related to those we love, and thus we evolve the fabric and substance of our own authentic beings, distinct from personas or images with fallacious mystiques."

Dr. Kavaler-Adler will illustrate this with a clinical case vignette spoken out as a narrated story.  She will then conclude with theoretical formulations, integrations, and intuitions.

Bio: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NPsyA, D.Litt is a Founder and Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute (www.orinyc.org)/ Psychologist/ Psychoanalyst/ Group Therapist/ Psychoanalytic Training Supervisor/ Psychotrauma, Developmental mourning, Grief, and Self-sabotage Specialist/ Psychoanalytic Author (of five books and 60 peer-reviewed articles) & Theorist. Visit www.KavalerAdler.com – for more information on upcoming events, groups, and consultations with Dr. Kavaler-Adler.

DYING TO BE SEEN: FAIRBAIRN'S ENDOSCOPIC SYSTEM AND THE SELF-SABOTEUR - Dr. .Jack Schwartz

Late Jeff Seinfeld once said to me that Fairbairn taught us that we as individuals have a need to be "seen" for who we are. Unlike Klein, Fairbairn made the radical departure from Freud's drive theory and placed the need to search and relate to others as the fundamental motivational drive. And in only the context of that interpersonal field do we establish internal object relational paradigms that organize our sense of self and capacity to engage the world, in both healthy and non-healthy ways.  The case that will be mentioned involves a young man, tormented by inner saboteurs, internalized at a young age and later reinforced throughout his life, and through his search to be "seen" and related to at his most vulnerable level, enabled him to move his life forward beyond all expectation.  

"Fairbairn developed a theory of endopsychic structure that completely reformulated psychoanalytic theory. In other words the outside experienced is internalized and structured into psychological affective constructs or components which in turn are then expressed within the context of a relational experience, and between the aspects of the components themselves. Thus, instead of seeing relationships as the result of drive discharge, tension reduction, his theory saw self-expression in the context of relational paradigms, specifically he postulated the inherent human drive is to form relationships, make connections, as the foundation of all psychic functioning..."

Bio: Jack Schwartz, LCSW, PsyD, NCPsyA  graduated from the New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis, where he is a faculty member, lecturer and control analyst. He is a NAAP Nationally Certified Psychoanalyst, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He holds degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University Yeshiva University (where he received the Distinguished Graduate Student Award) and International University. He served as the Senior Forensic Psychologist in Passaic County New Jersey for over 15 years, specializing in criminal investigations, probation, child custody issues, and has regularly served the court as an expert witness.  Dr. Schwartz maintains a full private practice in Northern New Jersey, working with children, adolescents, couples and adults. He frequently lectures on dream analysis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Resilience and other matters related to the practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.  He is a regular contributor to the New Jersey Institute Viewpoints newsletter, and is the editor for the NJ Clinical Social Worker highly regarded newsletter, the Forum.  Dr. Schwartz has written both short fiction, and technical articles on Dream Analysis and Holocaust Survivors, and has published a psychoanalytic novel, Our Time is Up, available on Amazon, soon to be an e-book.

***

Invitation to the Voyages into the Internal World:

Jungian, Kleinian, and Fairbairnian Perspectives on Self-Sabotage

By Inna Rozentsvit, ORI Press Editor

 

“For all of us there will be those irreconcilable injuries and humiliations that persist and infiltrate into adult existence. They may become the seeds for those monotonous repetitions of hurting others and getting hurt ourselves,... or the leftover traumas can be incentives for innovation and change,... the opportunity to rewrite the scripts, introduce a few new characters, get rid of one or two, perhaps even change the ending, and free the lover and jester inside us all. It didn't take elaborate experiments to deduce that an infant would die from want of food. But it took centuries to figure out that infants can and do perish from want of love” (Louise Kaplan, 1984)

                This is a report on a fascinating conference which took place on February 25th, 2012 at the Object Relations Institute, on the topic so modern and so ancient at the same time – the topic of self-sabotage. This report is compiled of the excerpts of all conference presentations, as it is intended to offer everyone the first-hand experience of this event.

                Jeffrey Lewis, PhD (our conference host and moderator): Opening Remarks.

“I AM my own worst enemy… I can’t seem to get out of My Own wayI give great advice to others, but can’t do the same for MyselfHow many times have you heard some variant of this (kerfuffle) expressed by a sincere yet perplexed patient confessing the hardest contest of all…the Golden Gloves boxing championship with oneself? This entire potentiality is mind-boggling - how can our psychological apparatus allow for the phenomenological experience of you harboring a stowaway, a stranger having gained access to your boat. A free-rider, not on the passenger registry, having passed security checks and now aboard in the cargo hold…ONLY, you are both the stowaway and the ship!”

                Michael Vannoy Adams, DPhil., LCSW: The Archetype of the Self-Saboteur: Self-Sabotage from Jungian Perspective.

“… The internal saboteur is an internal aggressor and an internal persecutor. …For Fairbairn, the internal saboteur is not a “bad object” – or, in fact, any variety of object – but an anti-libidinal ego, the function of which is to attack the libidinal ego and, in the process, to repress objects.  …It is the ego – or more specifically, one of three egos, an aggressive, persecutory ego – that, through repression, sabotages effective relations with objects. … In this respect, the internal saboteur is an exquisitely exact image that provides an eloquently precise description of the process by which the ego represses – or, more specifically, sabotages – what the unconscious attempts to express.  The image “internal saboteur” is poetic.  It is much more vivid, vital, and evocative than the concept “anti-libidinal ego,” which is prosaic.  To me, the term “internal saboteur” is not just a rhetorical conceit.  It is a superbly expressive term that enables psychoanalysts with a sensibility for subtleties, to visualize – and not just verbalize – the nuances of a process that is integral to the psyche.    

    Jung introduced into psychoanalytic discourse the terms “introversion” and “extraversion.”  There is also, of course, “perversion.”  Sabotage is “subversion.”  To “subvert” means to “turn over from under.”  Topographically, the unconscious is a subconscious.  The unconscious is an “underconscious.”  From under the ego, the unconscious attempts to overturn the ego.  From the perspective of the ego, the unconscious is intrinsically subversive.  No wonder the ego is so anxious and so defensive.  Ultimately, the unconscious as such is a saboteur, for it attempts to sabotage – or to subvert – the partial, prejudicial attitude of the ego.    

In the psyche, what sabotages what?  Is it the ego that sabotages the unconscious, or is it the unconscious that sabotages the ego?  To the extent that the ego is an internal saboteur, it sabotages the unconscious – that is, it represses what object relations psychoanalysts call “objects” or what Jungian psychoanalysts call “images.”  Objects or images that emerge from the unconscious may also, however, sabotage the ego.  To the anxious and defensive ego, objects or images may be internal saboteurs.”  

                Robinson Lilienthal, PhD: Many Shapes of the Self-saboteur – Philosophical Reflections. 

“Over the time, the internal saboteurs take on many shapes. Early on, they disrupt our wishes, plans, and dreams. Then, they upset our lives, careers, relationships. Later, they keep us obstructed from our own true selves; they impede the development of what Freud called maturation, and what Jung called individuation. First as clues to our failures, they can later become the keys to unlocking the door to our final integral exfoliation, helping us in giving birth to the unique being each of us is.”

                Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NPsyA, DLitt: The Kleinian Perspective on Self-Sabotage – a Look at the Internal World and Its Internal Objects.

“In between the external world of interpersonal relations and the inchoate visceral and mental self we are born with, is the internal world of self and other enactments that are played out in our whole psychophysical being.  These dynamic internal objects are often confused with external others who we project them onto, often reacting to our experience of others only through the internal dramas perpetuated from earliest infancy and childhood that are played out in our minds” (Kavaler-Adler, 2012).  When we wake up from the subliminal confusion of projection and introjection, we become “interpreting subjects” (Ogden, 1986) who realize we are always subjectively creating meanings out of our reactions to others outside of us.  These meanings we create become interwoven with our beliefs and assumptions from those who we live with inside ourselves as dynamic “phantasy” objects. 

…Unlike Fairbairn who thought internal objects were merely internally designed replicas of our primal external mother and parents, and distinct form but harmonious with Jung, who addressed innate archetype personifications in our collective unconscious psyche, Melanie Klein brought us into the overlapping realm of innate predispositions to engaging with others that become phantasy internal others—our internal objects—and the coloration of these internal phantasies by our external experiences with others, which become more related to the external reality of others with time and development.  From a Kleinian perspective, just as our internal objects are colored by encountering external others, so too are external relationships perpetually colored by the subjective internal world of feelings.  Such feelings emerge from instinctive impulses interpenetrating internal objects, and their representations, and are always linked to our interpretations of our experience of those others outside whom we encounter and gradually learn to love.  We learn to love through awakening to distinctions between others outside our internal worlds and those dynamic phantoms within us, finding others separate from ourselves, who we discover are always interpreted by us through our internal object world, but who have an agency and vitality outside of that internal world.” 

                Jack Schwartz, LCSW, PsyD, NCPsyA: Dying to Be Seen – Fairbairnian  Endoscopic System and the Self-Saboteur. 

“Fairbairn developed a theory of endopsychic structure that completely reformulated psychoanalytic theory. In other words the outside experienced is internalized and structured into psychological affective constructs or components, which in turn are then expressed within the context of a relational experience and between the aspects of the components themselves. Thus, instead of seeing relationships as the result of drive discharge, tension reduction, his theory saw self-expression in the context of relational paradigms, specifically he postulated that the inherent human drive is to form relationships, make connections, as the foundation of all psychic functioning.

…It is in this place that the theology student, physician turned psychoanalyst Ronald W. Fairbairn begins - at the precipice of breaking the tie to the original object by reporting and recognizing what was happening in the consulting room... Historically, Fairbairn is mostly forgotten, repressed, and now resurrected and reconditioned into a myriad of other theories.  It is in the spirit of Jeff Seinfeld, a modern champion of Fairbairn, that allows us revisit Fairbairn and to acknowledge his place at the table, as the transitional object of theoretical individuation that frees psychoanalysis from denial and antiquated systems.” 

To request a copy of the full-conference film, please call 646-522-0387 or write to Admin@ORINYC.org.

 


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