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DR. JEFFREY SEINFELD MEMORIAL PSYCHOANALYTIC LICENSE MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS NEURO-PSYCHO-EDUCATION CONTINUING EDUCATION RESOURCES FOR VETERANS
THE ROLE OF FREE ASSOCIATIONS IN PSYCHOANALYSIS: THEN AND NOW
FREE ASSOCIATIONS: NEW ENTRY TO THE IPA'S ENCYCLOPEDIC DICTIONARY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS
SPONSORED BY THE OFFICE OF POSTGRADUATE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS OF ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY, PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT
CO-SPONSORED BY NAAP
Instructor: Eva D. Papiasvili, PhD, ABPP
3rd trimester of the (advanced standing) training programs in psychotherapy and
(This course can be taken also as a separate certificate course)
Dates: APRIL 10th (9am - 2pm EST) & APRIL 24th (9am - 2pm EST), 2021
Virtual participation – via audio/video or audio only, due to COVID-19 restrictions
21 CE credits for NYS Psychologists and 7 CEs for APA (non-NYS Psychologists and other mental health professionals in 48 states) - from St. John's University
7 CE credits for NYS Social Workers and NYS Licensed Psychoanalysts - from NAAP
21 PD credits (7 contact hrs, 14 preparation hrs) and post-graduate psychoanalytic education credits (for educators, legal professionals, psychoanalytic candidates in training)
-- approved by the CE Committee of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
NB: To claim the CEs, the participants need to participate in this educational activity via the video-audio mode (and not only via audio), to ensure active participation
Tuition: $250 (can be paid in 2 installments, upon request).
To Register for the course, follow the link
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for candidates in training) - can be paid by CC via PayPal - follow the link: PayPal.Me/ORINYC
This post-graduate educational
activity will address psychoanalytic method of free associations offered
originally by S. Freud to suspend conscious control and censorship over
subjective experiences, encompassing anything that ‘comes to mind’ (e.g. ideas,
feelings, body sensations, memories, dreams, etc.). All post-Freudian schools of
psychoanalysis had employed the free associations method as a basic principle
for structuring the psychoanalytic situation, and it became a fundamental
condition of psychoanalytic work and the fundamental methodology of
This course participants will discover and learn to apply the method of free associations as it contributes greatly to not only the formulations of dynamic unconscious, psychic determinism, continuity, and meaning, but also to the progression of Freud’s understanding of the forces at play in psychic conflict. Participants will also analyze and compare the expansion of the use of free association by various schools of psychoanalytic thought – in understanding unconscious defenses and resistances, enrichment of the Topographic and Structural Models of the mind, and working through defenses and resistances, as well as applying free associations method to their clinical work with various personality structures and traumatized individuals.
Read more about this course and how it relates to the IPA's Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (IRED):
In contemporary North American
Dictionaries, ‘Free Association’ is broadly defined as a form of mental activity
characterized by the suspension of conscious control (censorship) over
subjective experiences, encompassing anything that ‘comes to mind’ (e.g. ideas,
feelings, body sensations, memories, dreams, etc.) (Auchincloss & Samberg, 2012;
The word ‘free’ in ‘free associations’ implies that “there would be no predetermined point from where the session begins and no steering of the thought chain by the analyst” (Akhtar, 2009, p. 115).
When employed as a basic principle for structuring the psychoanalytic situation, free association becomes a ‘fundamental rule’, or, more in line with contemporary North American psychoanalytic vocabulary, a ‘fundamental condition’ (Lichtenberg and Galler, 1987). The application of the ‘rule’/’condition’ facilitates the emergence of communication through which the unconscious determinism may become accessible, exposing and fostering fresh connections as well as revealing difficulties in mental discourse.
Adjusted for various individualized criteria, depending on the analyst and the analyzand, the contemporary instruction to the patient in explaining the ‘fundamental rule/condition’ of ‘free association’ may include an invitation to “try to say whatever comes to mind, in whatever form that occurs, whether this includes thoughts, fantasies, observations, memories, etc., without attempting to order all these contents in any way…regardless of whether that seems easy or difficult, …to be proud of or ashamed about, …important or trivial, etc.” (Kernberg 2015, p.627), along with the acknowledgement that the inevitable difficulties experienced in the process “provide an opportunity for analytic exploration” (Lichtenberg and Galler, 1987, p.72).
Sigmund Freud gradually developed the
procedure of free association in his own work as fundamental to psychoanalytic
technique. He did so along two lines: 1) In his clinical work with patients, in
relation to his discovery and further exploration of the dynamics of resistance,
starting with “Studies on Hysteria” (Freud, 1893a,b); and, 2) Through the
analysis of his dreams, where the associations developed in response to select
dream elements, in “The Interpretation of Dreams” (Freud, 1900). Both lines of
development demonstrated the determinate order of the unconscious and the
meaningfulness of ostensibly irrational dreams and neurotic symptoms.
In “Studies on Hysteria” (1893a, b), free association in its rudimentary forms emerged from pre-analytic methods of investigation of the unconscious. First, a hypnotic method was modified by patients being encouraged to speak freely about memories, rather than just being given post-hypnotic suggestions. Second, a patient’s concentration on a given idea, searching for a pathogenic factor, gave way to an emphasis on the patients’ spontaneous self-expression. Patients themselves played a significant role in the gradual shift towards freedom of associations without a set starting point.
Having used free associations during
his self-analysis between 1895-1899, Freud (1900)
had combined the notion of dynamic unconscious processes with free association
to create an original, integrated, and operational method of psychoanalytic
treatment and research. In 1912–1915 and later writings, he recommended free
association as the fundamental procedure and process of psychoanalytic
therapy. It is at this point that free association on the part of the patient,
complemented by the analyst’s freely hovering attention as part of the position
of neutrality and abstinence, became the structuring pillar and ‘fundamental
rule’ of the analytic setting.
As the fundamental methodology of psychoanalytic inquiry, free association
contributed greatly to not only the formulations of dynamic unconscious, psychic
determinism, continuity, and meaning, but also the progression of Freud’s
understanding of the forces at play in psychic conflict. (See separate entries
THE UNCONSCIOUS and CONFLICT)
Conversely, every advancement of theory led to an expansion of the use of free association. The gradual formulation of free association contributed to the initial discovery of resistance. With free association spearheading Freud’s growing awareness of unconscious defenses and resistances, it contributed to, and its use was further enriched by, the elaboration of Topographic and later Structural Models of the mind. The role of free association in the formulation of an interpretation of the forces in conflict was subsequently expanded to working through defenses and resistances (Freud, 1914, 1926, 1937).
The main task of the IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary (IRED) is to provide all psychoanalysts and all psychotherapists who work psychoanalytically with a truly international and up-to-date tool for consultation and reference, of superior quality and ‘wide scope’, which represents both the ‘trunk’ and the ‘branches’ of the psychoanalytic tree, as it has grown from Freud to the present time. IRED follows a very unique methodology, combining the global and the regionally specific and unique ideas and trends, the so-called “5+1” -- when each contributor to the IRED answers the following "5+1" questions: “Which five concepts inform your thinking and clinical work most”, followed by “Which concept originated in your psychoanalytic culture, or has a special resonance with it.” This way, IRED addresses the emerging importance of such undercurrent factors as “regional identity” and “regional consolidation” within the global conceptual psychoanalytic landscape. This process allows for the intercultural dialogue, prospectively arriving at broadly representative cross-cultural entries to the IRED.
Upon the completion of this
advanced level course, the participants will be able to:
1) describe the successive stages in the evolution of the methodology of Free Associations in the work of Sigmund Freud;
2) analyze the initial stage of development of free associations (during Freud’s discovery of the dynamic unconscious;
3) describe and compare conceptualizations of free associations by different Post-Freudian psychoanalytic theories;
4) describe and compare conceptualizations of free associations by contemporary psychoanalytic theories;
5) describe and compare active technique vs. free associations in working with traumatized patients (Sandor Ferenczi and Otto Rank);
6) analyze conceptualization of Free Associations within Ego Psychology (Anna Freud, Heinz Hartmann, Erik Erikson, Ernst Kris, David Rapaport, Rudolph Loewenstein and Robert Wilder);
7) analyze conceptualization of free associations in Modern Conflict Theory (Jacob Arlow and Charles Brenner);
8) analyze impact of British Middle School (Donald Winnicott) in application of Free Associations;
9) analyze impact of early infant studies (Margaret Mahler, Rene Spitz) and early attachment work (Bowlby, Harry Stack Sullivan, Karen Horney), and other interpersonalists and culturalists;
10) compare utility of free associations in the clinical work with different diagnostic categories of patients: neurotic, borderline, and narcissistic personality structures;
11) compare utility of free associations in the clinical work with psychologically traumatized patients;
12) utilize the method of free associations in their clinical work with patients of different diagnostic categories;
13) describe ‘widening of the scope’ of utilization of free associations in psychoanalytic therapy with certain psychopathologies;
14) analyze minimal use and reconceptualization of free associations (Interpersonal and Relational School, Self Psychology, some aspects of Neo-Bionian clinical theory and work – Ogden, et al.);
15) analyze impact of post-Kleinians and post-Bionians (Ogden, Grotstein, Brown) in application of Free Associations;
16) utilize the method of free associations in their clinical work with patients at different stages of the clinical process;
17) analyze the reciprocal relationship between the development of psychoanalytic theory and evolution of its clinical methodology of free associations;
18) evaluate their responses to the patients as to their objective-subjective value and more accurate diagnostic and prognostic assessment of their patients;
19) evaluate interdisciplinary approaches to Free Associations (neuroscience);
20) analyze clinical cases using various approaches to Free Associations;
21) evaluate the ways to increase their overall clinical effectiveness by utilization of free associations methodology.
Introductory Definition and Early Pre-analytic Roots
(Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes; Wilhelm Wundt’s ‘Word Association’ experiments; Karl Jung’s ‘Complex’; Garth Wilkinson’s ‘Method of Impression’, Ludwig Börne’s ‘Becoming an original Writer’, Friedrich Schiller’s ‘Relaxation of the Watch’)
Sigmund Freud –
I. Initial Stage of development of Free Associations during Freud’s Discovery of the Dynamic Unconscious, through 1) his Clinical Work with hysterical patients (1893-1895) and in 2) his Self-analysis of dreams (1895-1899).
II. Free Association as the ‘Fundamental Rule’ during Topographic Theory era (1900-1923)
III. Free Association in the context of the Structural Theory (1923 – 1939)
Sigmund Freud -
Integration: Reciprocal relationship between the above stages of theory development and development of the psychoanalytic methodology of Free Association
Sandor Ferenczi and Otto Rank –
Active technique vs. Free Associations in working with traumatized patients (compare to Freud’s active interventions with phobic, traumatized, and severely obsessional patients)
Free Associations within Post-Freudian Structural Theory –
Conceptualization of Free Association within Ego Psychology of Anna Freud, Heinz Hartmann, Erik Erikson, Ernst Kris, David Rapaport, Rudolph Loewenstein and Robert Wilder
Specifications and Reformulations of Free Association in the work of Leopold Bellak, Leo Stone, Edith Jacobson and Hans Loewald
Free Associations in Modern Conflict Theory – Jacob Arlow and Charles Brenner
Impact of British Middle School (Donald Winnicott), early infant Studies of Margaret Mahler, Rene Spitz, and early attachment work by Bowlby, Harry Stack Sullivan, Karen Horney, and other interpersonalists and culturalists, together with the ‘widening of the scope’ of patients treated by psychoanalytic therapy, on further conceptualizations and use of Free Association with patients with certain kind of psychopathologies.
Contemporary Conceptualizations and Usage of Free Association –
Introduction – 3 trends:
1) Free Association as Central to Psychoanalytic Work (e.g. Paul Gray, Anton Kris)
2) Qualified Use of Free Association (e.g. Otto Kernberg)
3) Minimal Use & Reconceptualization (Interpersonal and Relational School, Self Psychology, some aspects of Neo-Bionian clinical theory and work – Ogden, et al.)
*Ad 1. Free Associations as Central to Psychoanalytic Work - Specific Contributions:
Free associations in the context of analyzing resistances: Paul Gray
Free associations in the context of restoration of psychic continuity: Anton Kris
Conceptual Expansion and Expansion of Representational Range: Fred Busch, Linda Brakel, Eva Papiasvili, Jane Hall et al.
Free Associations as a Key Structural Element of the Psychoanalytic Situation: Janet Bachant and Eliot Adler
Free Associations as a foundational method in light of contemporary innovations: Axel Hoffer
French Tradition & Italian psychoanalysis: Andre Green, Dominique Scarfone, Jaqueline Amati-Mehlee, Jean-Luc Donnet
*Ad 2. Qualified Use of Free Association
Roots in Freud, Ferenczi, Federn, Sullivan, Lorand , Eissler
Contemporary Diverse Scene: Harold Blum
Considering Level of Ego Operations and Object Relations: Kubie, Hall, Kernberg
Timing and Manner of Instruction to Free Association
Joseph Lichtenberg and Floyd Galler
*Ad 3. Peripheral Use and Reconceptualization of Free Association
Interpersonal, Relational and Self Psychology Perspectives: Dorpat, Aron, Kohut, Ornstein
Post-Kleinians and Post-Bionians: Ogden, Grotstein, Brown
Free Associative Activity of the Analyst
Isakower, Arlow, Bollas, Lothane
Free Association and Neuroscience – Studies of Howard Shevrin et al.
Clinical examples of employing free associative method with different diagnostic categories of patients, at different stages of the analytic process, utilizing different theoretical frames: Instructor and Participants.
[NB: Readings in preparation to this workshop (mandatory for those obtaining the CEs) - will be sent to the registered participants in Word or PDF formats]
Handout (52 pages) that is related to history and the development of the Free Association concept, from S. Freud to modern time psychoanalysis.
International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) (2021, in press). Free associations. In S. Bolognini, E. Papiasvili, A. Jemstedt (Eds.), IPA (author), IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary. https://www.ipa.world/IPA/en/en/Encyclopedic_Dictionary/English/Home.aspx
before March 10th, 2021 session:
Freud, S. (1919). Lines of advance in psychoanalytic therapy. Standard Edition 17, 157-168.
Loewenstein, R. M. (1963). Some considerations on free association. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 11, 451-473.
before March 24th, 2021 session:
Gray, P. (1982). “Developmental Lag” in the evolution of technique for psychoanalysis of neurotic conflict. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 30, 621-655.
Kernberg, O. F. (2015a). Narcissistic defenses in the distortion of free association and their underlying anxieties. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 84(3), 625-642.
Lothane, Z. (2010). The analyzand and analyst team practicing reciprocal free association: Defenders and deniers. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 19(3), 155-164.
To qualify for 14 CE hours assigned for preparation to this course (this does not apply to APA CEs), in addition to 7 CE contact hours, please fill out the following form related to fulfilling the reading assignment requirement: https://forms.gle/UArXzxTt4okvwFkd8
Akhtar, S. & Smolen, A. (2018). Arrogance: Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms. New York: Routledge.
Freud, S. (1893a [1893-1895]). The Psychotherapy of Hysteria from Studies on Hysteria. SE, 2, 253-305.
Freud, S. (1893b [1893-1895]). Frau Emmy von N, Case Histories from Studies on Hysteria. SE, 2, 48-105.
Freud, S. (1900) Interpretation of Dreams (selected pages), Standard Edition.
Freud, S. (1912a). Recommendations to Physicians Practicing Psycho-Analysis. Standard Edition, 12, 109-120.
Freud, S. (1912b). The Dynamics of Transference. The Standard Edition, 12, 97-108.
Freud, S. (1913a). On Beginning the Treatment1 (Further Recommendations on the Technique of Psycho-Analysis I). Standard Edition, 12, 121-144.
Freud, S. (1913b). On Psycho-Analysis. Standard Edition, 12, 205-212.
Freud, S. (1914). Remembering, Repeating and Working Through. (Further Recommendations on the Technique of Psycho-Analysis II). Standard Edition, 12, 145-156.
Freud, S. (1914/1915). Observations on Transference-Love (Further Recommendations on the Technique of Psycho-Analysis III). Standard Edition, 12, 157-171.
Freud, S. (1937). Constructions in Analysis. Standard Edition, 23, 257-269.
Freud, S. (1938/40). An Outline of Psychoanalysis. SE, 23, 139-208.Hoffer, A. (2006). What does the analyst want? Free association in relation to the analyst’s activity, ambition, and technical innovation. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 66(1), 1-23.
Kernberg, O. F. (2015b). Neurobiological correlates of object relations theory: The relationship between neurobiological and psychodynamic development. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 24(1), 38-46.
Kernberg, O. F. (2019). Therapeutic implications of transference structures in various personality pathologies. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 67(6), 951-986.
Ogden, T.H. (2001). Conversations at the frontier of dreaming. Fort Da, 7(2), 7-14.
Ogden, T. H. (2007). On talking-as-dreaming. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 88(3), 575-589.
Ogden, T. H. (2009). Rediscovering psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 6(1), 22-31.
Shevrin, H. (2006). The contributions of cognitive behavioral and neurophysiological frames of reference to a psychoanalytic nosology of mental illness. PDM Task Force, In: Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual. Silver Spring, MD: Alliance of Psychoanalytic Organizations.
Snodgrass, M.,, Bernat, E., & Shevrin, H. (2004). Unconscious perception: A model-based approach to method and evidence. Perception & Psychophysics, 66 (5), 846-867.
Stanovich, K.E. & West, R.F. (2000). Individual differences in reasoning: Implications for the rationality debate? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23(5), 645-665.
Stolorow, R. D. (2013). Intersubjective-Systems Theory: A phenomenological-contextualist psychoanalytic perspective. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 23(4), 383-389.
Atwood, G.E. & Stolorow, R.D. (2016). The phenomenological circle and the unity of life and thought. Psychoanalytic Review, 103(3), 291-316.
Other References will be assigned from the Reference list of the text of the North American draft of FREE ASSOCIATIONS entry of the Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary.
COURSE SCHEDULE FOR 4/10/21 & 4/24/21 (9am - 2pm EST):
9am - 10am (45 min lecture; 15
min short Q&A/ Comments)
10:10am - 11:10am (45 min lecture; 15 min short Q&A/ Comments)
12:20pm - 1:05pm (45 min lecture)
1:15pm - 2:00pm (45 min Q&A and Clinical Examples)
BIO OF THE INSTRUCTOR
Eva D. Papiasvili, PhD, ABPP
is licensed as a Psychologist in the state of New York
and a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical
Psychology. She has been a Senior
Clinical Faculty and Supervisor in the Doctoral program of Clinical Psychology
at Columbia University in New York, for the past 30 years. She is the past
Executive Director and Dean of the Institute of the Postgraduate Psychoanalytic
Society where she has been a Training and Supervising Analyst since 1996;
Teaching, Supervising and Training Analyst, Object Relations Institute; Founder
and Chair of the Psychoanalysis, Art and Creativity,
www.psychartcreativity.org, an Affiliate of
the International Association for the Arts and Psychology; Editorial Board
member of the International Journal for Group Psychotherapy; a Guest
Contributing Editor and Reader for the International Forum for Psychoanalysis
and for the Psychoanalytic Inquiry. In 2014, she has been appointed a
Co-Chair for North America (USA, Canada, Japan) of the
IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic
Dictionary of Psychoanalysis Task Force.
Dr. Papiasvili is a Member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and its Committee for Psychoanalysis and the Arts; American Psychological Association and its Divisions for Psychoanalysis (39) and Clinical Psychology (12); International Psychoanalytical Association; and International Group Psychotherapy Association. She has been awarded an Honorary Membership of the Czech Psychoanalytic Society (IPA), and an Honorary Membership of the American College of Psychoanalysts. Her full time private practice in New York City and Westchester is in clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and supervision.
Refund in full is offered for cancellations made before April 8th, 2021. No refunds for cancellations made on or after April 8th, 2021 (but credit can be applied for any of the educational events offered at ORI in 2021 or further on).
Read more about
IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary
This program was organized in conjunction with and approved for APA (7 CEs) and NYSED (21 CEs) Continuing Education Credits by the St. John's University Office of Postgraduate Professional Development Programs. St. John's University Office of Postgraduate Professional Development Programs is recognized by the New York State Education Department 's State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists. It is also approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The University maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
This program is co-sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. CEs for NYS Licensed Social Workers and NYS Licensed Psychoanalysts (7 hrs) are approved by NAAP.
National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an Approved Provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts. #P-0019.
National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. #SW-0168
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hours of required readings
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