Book Celebration Virtual Conference

Selected Papers by Susan Kavaler-Adler, Volume 1:
Developmental Mourning, Erotic Transference,
and Object Relations Psychoanalysis

Publisher: International Psychoanalytic Books (IPBooks)
Date/time: March 11, 2023, 1pm – 4pm EST

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Jeffrey Rubin,
Kenneth Fuchsman,
Loray Daws,
Stefanie Teitelbaum,
and the author, Susan Kavaler-Adler

Jack Schwartz

This 7th book of Dr. Kavaler-Adler is a highly clinical collection, with 22 chapters taken from Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s published journal articles and edited book chapters. All chapters have case studies, most of which demonstrate the progressive developmental growth in those who began treatment at the level of pre-symbolic functioning and evolved to symbolic functioning, to whole-object relations, to full subjectivity, as well as to the progressive road towards the capacity to negotiate psychic conflict, psychic dialectic, and the resolution of primal trauma.

Whatever terrain of development is explicated in all these transformative clinical papers, and whether dealing with erotic transference as a transitional object experience, or complex group process in the face of powerful regret and powerful yearning for connection; and whether dreams or fantasies, or analyst-patient dialogues are psycho-dynamically articulated; the road to empathy, compassion, interiority, self-reflection, and psychic dialectic is washed over by the birth of the affect states of rage, grief, and mourning.

The churning confusion of love and hate pulsates through the crystalline transference and  countertransference interactions as developmental mourning transforms developmental arrest.    From the woman who cried “My graduation is my mother’s funeral,” to the hauntingly remembered ghost of the mother lost, to the multi-levels of mother-father within the “pivotal moments of surrender to mourning internal parental objects,” the road through “developmental mourning” is a complex avenue of despair turning to hope.

Please join us to immerse ourselves in this rich panorama. We welcome your questions, comments, and thoughts. The panelists will each choose to focus on themes in the book that are of particular interest to them. After each panelist speaks, we will engage in discussion.

Tentative Schedule of the Event:

  • 1:00 pm – Introduction – Moderator Jack Schwartz
  • 1:10 pm – Presentation by Susan Kavaler-Adler
  • 1:50 pm – Loray Daws
  • 2:03 pm – Ken Fuchsman
  • 2:16 pm – 10-minute break
  • 2:26 pm – Jeffrey Rubin
  • 2:39 pm – Stefanie Teitelbaum
  • 2:52 pm – Discussion between Susan Kavaler-Adler and the panelists.
  • 3:12 pm – 5-minute break
  • 3:17 pm until 4:00 pm – Q&A with the audience.

About the Author:

Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NCPsyA, DLitt, a Fellow of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis; she practices (both virtually and in person) psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, couples therapy, and group therapy in New York City, in Manhattan  for over 40 years. Dr. Kavaler-Adler is the Founder & Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and is a Training Analyst, Senior Supervisor and Active Faculty. She is also a prolific author/theorist, with over seventy peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, five books on psychoanalysis—and one on the Argentine tango scene in NYC.

Visit her website for more information at:


“In these thoughtfully curated volumes we have access to the work of one of the most influential and thought-provoking psychoanalytic writers today. In the creative hands of Dr. Kavaler-Adler, British and American Object Relations theories are fashioned into a vital, dynamic theory of Developmental Mourning, a developmental process that is central not only to healing trauma, but to the growth of separation-individuation processes, “self-evolution,” creativity, eroticism, and reparation: the core elements of what it is to be human and alive. Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s writing is so thoroughly infused with her enthusiasm and passion that we encounter the theory with visceral clarity and truly feel the pain and joy of her clinical work.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler illustrates the power of the use of countertransference with a poignant and healing effect, never more vividly than in her chapters on Group Therapy. In these chapters we witness the working through of primitive affects and developmental progressions embedded in the powerful dynamics of the group with Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s illuminating understanding through the lens of Developmental Mourning. We are indebted to International Psychoanalytic Books for bringing the works of one of the master clinicians of our time together in these collected volumes.”

—Robert Grossmark, PhD, ABPP, author of The Unobtrusive Relational Analyst: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Companioning and The One and the Many: Relational Approaches to Group Psychotherapy

“Susan Kavaler-Adler’s Volume I of the Selected Papers highlights her original contributions to psychoanalytic theory and technique. Drawing upon the theories of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Balint and many others, she illustrates and illuminates her concept of developmental mourning. An independent,  philosophical psychoanalyst, Kavaler-Adler bridges past and present in theory and practice. Demonstrating the beneficial clinical outcome of mourning for loss in self and object relationships, she also emphasizes the reparative and growth promoting aspects of mourning the detrimental consequences of traumatic experience.  She describes the appreciation of the new when one can separate from fixation to traumatic loss. Reading and reflecting upon Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s insightful papers are a fascinating, rewarding psychoanalytic journey.”

— Harold P. Blum, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute; affiliated with NYU Medical School and the Psychoanalytic Society of Rio de Janeiro

These are the CHAPTERS included in Vol 1 of the Selected Papers:

Chapter 1: Pivotal Moments of Surrender to Mourning the Internal Parental Objects
Chapter 2: The Beginning of Heartache in Character Disorders: On the Way to Relatedness and Intimacy through Primal Affects and Symbolization
Chapter 3: Anatomy of Regret: A Developmental View of the Depressive Position and a Critical Turn Toward Love and Creativity in the Transforming Schizoid Personality
Chapter 4: Object Relations Issues in the Treatment of the Preoedipal Character
Chapter 5: Opening Up Blocked Mourning in the Preoedipal Character
Chapter 6: The Case of David: On the Couch for Sixty Minutes, Nine Years of Once-a-Week Treatment
Chapter 7: “My Graduation is My Mother’s Funeral”: Transformation from the Paranoid-Schizoid Position to the Depressive Position in Fear of Success, and the Role of the Internal Saboteur
Chapter 8: From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning; Part I
Chapter 9: From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning Part II

Chapter 10: Mourning and Erotic Transference
Chapter 11: Lesbian Homoerotic Transference in Dialectic with Developmental Mourning: On the Way to Symbolism from the Protosymbolic
Chapter 12: Erotic Transference: A Journey to Passion and Symbolization
Chapter 13: The Therapeutic Action of Working with Erotic Transference: An Object Relations View of Clinical Experience: Differentiating Theory from Classical and Relational Viewpoints.

Chapter 14: An Object Relations Approach to Dreams: From Protosymbolic to Symbolic, in Dream Content and within the Therapeutic Object Relationship
Chapter 15: Nightmares and Object Relations Theory
Chapter 16: Treating Patients with Jealousy
Chapter 17: Fear of Intimacy
Chapter 18: Tolerable and Intolerable Regret: Clinical Transformation of the Intolerable into the Tolerable

Chapter 19: An Object Relations View of Creative Process and Group Process
Chapter 20: Anatomy of Regret and Reparation: Resolution of Transference Resistances through the Combined Use of a Writing and Creative Process Group and a Mourning Regrets Group
Chapter 21: The Culture of the Mourning Group in a Culture that Often Fails to Mourn: Evolution of Themes of Grief and Regret Related to Psychic Anorexia and Self-Deprivation
Chapter 22: Countertransference, Regret, and Aggression: Drama and Free Association in an Object Relations Group Environment

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