INFORMATION on Prior Workshops:

Interactive Workshop: Fear of Success: My Graduation Is My Mother’s Funeral

Conducted by SUSAN KAVALER-ADLER, Ph.D., ABPP, D.Litt., NCPsyA
When: Saturday, October 15th, 2016, @ 10 am until 4 pm, with a break for lunch
Where: 115 East 9th Street, 9th Street (@ 3rd Ave), 12P, NYC, 10003
Workshop participation fee: $75 (preregistration)/ $85 (at the door); for student discount contact Dr. Kavaler-Adler @
To register and for questions, email to Dr. Kavaler-Adler at or call 212-674-5425

Workshop Description:

In this workshop, the psychodynamics of the Fear of Success will be presented, on both oedipal and pre-oedipal levels. There will be a particular focus on an object relations understanding of the preoedipal terrors and conflicts underlying the multitude of inhibitions and self sabotage that relate to the fear of success. The terror of abandonment and self annihilation will be discussed, as opposed to the fears of retaliatory aggression from an oedipal stage parental object, which is feared as a powerful competitor. Winnicott’s “unthinkable anxieties” will be discussed, along side of James Masterson’s ideas on “abandonment depression”, and Susan Kavaler-Adler’s theory of the “demon lover complex” that can be symptomatic of an arrest in the separation-individuation process, and self integration process, that are characteristic of Developmental Mourning.

Case examples will be offered, including the case described in Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s 2006 journal article “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” (International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 15, 117-130).

In the afternoon, an experiential group will be formed. Each participant in the workshop will be asked to participate in a guided meditative visualization, led by Dr. Kavaler-Adler. The meditative visualization experience is used repeatedly by Dr. Kavaler-Adler, for the last 20 years, in her monthly Mourning, Therapy, and Support Group. Everybody closes their eyes and breathes, while being led through a dialogue (one or two times) with an internal other, who they speak to about their own Fear of Success, or about the Fear of Success of a patient/client. Group members are then invited to share their experience with the group. The interpersonal group then evolves in the “potential space” of the group, as group members empathize with , and resonate with, the others I the group as they speak.

Bio of the Workshop Leader:

Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, D. Litt., NCPsyA, is a Psychologist and Psychoanalyst with 40 years of clinical experience. She is the Founder (with Dr. Robert Weinstein) and Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute (NYS chartered), where she has served for 25 years as a Training Analyst, Senior Supervisor, Faculty Member, President of the Board of Directors, and as Advisor to the Training Committee.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler is a prolific author who has five books and over 60 articles in the field of British and American Object Relations theory and Psychoanalysis, and has 15 awards for her writing (including the NAAP Gradiva Award in 2004).. Dr. Kavaler-Adler is known for her theories of Developmental Mourning, the Demon Lover Complex, the Love-Creativity Dialectic, and the resolution of character pathology through the profound heart/soul grief of “psychic regret.” Descriptions of her books and her supervision, therapy/mourning and writing groups (monthly and weekly, in person and on-line) can be viewed at Her five published books are: “The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers” (Routledge, 1993, ORI Academic Press 2013, Forward by Joyce McDougall); “The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes Frenzy to Love and Creativity: (Routledge 1996,ORI Academic Press 2014, Foreword by Martin Bergmann); “Mourning, Spirituality and Psychic Change: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis (Routledge 2003, Foreword by Joyce McDougall); “The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies” (Karnac 2013); “The Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: New Transformational Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory” (Karnac 2014).

Learning Goals:

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between oedipal and pre-Oedipal fears and conflicts, in relation to “The Fear of Success”;
  2. Analyze the concrete versus the symbolic nature of the Internal World conflict in relation to Fear of Success;
  3. Apply and share, in an experiential group, to process their own fears of success, and/or those of their clients.

Those who pre-register, will receive Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s article “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” (International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 15, 117-130) – by email.

For a taste of the topic, tune in to this 15-min free educational video:

Interactive Workshop: Lecture, “in vivo” Role-play, – on Addiction to Bad Objects and “Nightmares and Object Relations Theories” will be held on Sunday, 3/15/15 (1-4 pm), during the Open House.

For a taste of the topic, please watch this short educational video:

Countertransference: Its History as a Theory, a Phenomenon, and as a Resistance

Interactive Workshop: Lecture, “in vivo” Role-play, and Meditative Visualization
3/29/15, Sunday, 10 am – 4:30 pm – via in-person or virtual participation. (Virtual participation – with minimal technical requirements.)
Workshop leader: Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler
In-person location: 115 East 9th Street, 12 P; NY, NY, 10003

The object relations perspective can offer a unique view of the evolution of all dynamics of countertransference as a clinical tool and as a clinical resistance, since the first work on conscious countertransference began in the British object relations school, with a historic “On Countertransference” paper, written by Paula Heimann, one of Melanie Klein’s theoretical followers.  Up until that time, countertransference was only known as something locked away in the psychoanalyst’s unconscious.  Through Klein’s theory of projective-identification, and its further employment by Paula Heimann, we have evolved to the subject of “object countertransference” and to “induced countertransference.”  Heinz Racker, another Kleinian object relations theorist, also contributed to understanding of this phenomenon, defining so called “complementary” and “concordant” countertransference. These concepts are essential in working with borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid character disorder patients.  American object relations theorists, such as Otto Kernberg, Jeffrey Seinfeld, and Thomas Ogden, have followed from this tradition to help us all work more effectively with character disordered patients.

In this Sunday, 10 am to 4:30pm, workshop, Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler will speak about the history of Countertransference as a clinical phenomenon, and as both a tool and resistance in our work.  She will also bring it into the room in an “in vivo” role play demonstration.  Further, she will have a group experience using the meditative visualization technique that she has created and used for 19 years in her monthly psychotherapy, mourning, and support group.

Bio:  Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, D. Litt., NCPsyA, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, a New York State chartered psychoanalytic training institute.  She authored the institute curriculum prior to founding the institute and has enriched it over the years, along with a prestigious faculty.  She is also well known for six books and  over sixty articles and edited book chapters, on themes of psychoanalysis and Object Relations theory.  She is specifically known for her theories of “Developmental Mourning,” and “The Demon Lover Complex,” which relate to preoedipal primal trauma and its resolution.  Her last three clinical books are:

Mourning, Spirituality, and Psychic Change: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis  (Routledge, 2003, Gradiva Award 2004), The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies, (Karanc, 2013), and The Klein-Winnciott Dialectic: New Transformational Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory (Karnac, 2014).  One of her latest theoretical and clinical papers is a chapter in a book edited by Salman Akhtar, Fear (Karnac, 2014), entitled, “Fear of Intimacy.”


When: March 9th, Sunday, 12-2pm (with the ORI’s Open House following it, from 2 pm to 4 pm)
Where: Ukrainian East Village Restaurant; 140 2nd Ave (@ 9th Street), New York, NY 10003                      
Workshop Leader:
Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NPsyA, D.Litt

Participation is free, but RSVP is required.

This workshop will have a precise clinical focus. Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler will present two profound resolved cases of anorexia and bulimia, which were described as case studies in her earlier clinical writings. The workshop participants will get the understanding about eating disorders being directly related to an internal world where an envious, hungry Mother resides.  This kind of Internal Mother has disrupted and arrested the person’s self-integration and separation-individuation processes.

The resolution of developmental trauma, which involves a “developmental mourning process” in treatment, and a clear look at the “demon lover complex,” within the internal world, as well as the blocked erotic desires that are part and parcel of arrested “developmental mourning” and the “demon lover complex”- will be illustrated and discussed.

The role of symptomatic compulsive spending, in the case of the bulimic, will be seen as transitional stage phenomena in the resolution of physical bulimia, and in the emergence of psychic bulimia in the transference.  The role of self-righteousness and contempt will be seen as manic defenses in the case of the anorexic.

These themes relate to the themes of discussion in Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s monthly and weekly supervision groups.  They also relate to her books and articles, and to her well known and original object relations theory.

For a taste of the topic, please visit The Object Relations View mini-video series on YouTube ( and on ORI’s web site (, to watch the video (part 13) on Eating Disorders: The Object Relations View.

For those who want preparatory reading for this workshop, they can explore three of Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s clinical and literary books: Mourning, Spirituality, and Psychic Change:  A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2003; won the 2004 Gradiva Award from NAAP); The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies (Karnac, 2013); and The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers (Routledge 1993, Other Press 2000, ORI Academic Press, 2013).

Bio: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, D. Litt., NCPsyA is in practice as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst for almost 40 years. She is the founder and executive director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where she serves as the training and supervising analyst, and senior faculty member, after teaching and supervising for many other institutes, including NIP.  Dr. Kavaler-Adler offers private monthly and weekly supervision and writing groups, and virtual (Internet-based) supervision groups, and a monthly intensive psychotherapy and mourning group, where she employs guided meditative visualizations for group sharing.  Dr. Kavaler-Adler also does much individual supervision, psychotherapy and creative writing consultations.  She is a prolific author, with five published books and over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and edited book chapters. Dr. Kavaler-Adler is the recipient of 12 awards for her writing in the field of psychoanalysis.   For more information about her practice, publications, and speaking engagements, visit  Dr. Kavaler-Adler can be contacted by email, or phone 212-674-5425.

Watch on YouTube:

Eating Disorders: The Object Relations View

The Open House on 6/20/14 featured the workshop on In Session: Crying, Breathing, and Sleeping.

The Open House on 9/22/13 featured the workshop on Character Disorders: Narcissistic, Borderline, and Schizoid.


September 22, Sunday, 12pm – 2pm, followed by the ORI’s Open House, 2-4 pm

Workshop Leader: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NPsyA, D.Litt
Participation is free, but RSVP is required

Note change of location to accommodate all requests for participation:
Ukrainian East Village Restaurant; 140 2nd Ave (@ 9th Street), New York, NY 10003

This workshop will begin with discussion about the internal world’s psychic structures of each character disorder, and then, these will be related to the various maternal and parental pathologies that impact the toddler- age child during the separation-individuation stage (of Mahler), also described as the transitional stage by D. W. Winnicott.  The distinct sealed-off grandiose self of the narcissistic personality will be discussed in comparison to the more overtly enraged, inured, and victimized self of the borderline, and in contrast to the withdrawn, sealed-off and split-off affect self of the schizoid personality.

Participants will learn about clinical approaches to speaking to the schizoid patient, who is stuck in the continual need/fear dilemma that has been haunting him or her, perpetuating a primal arrest state of emotional starvation (as in Jeff Seinfeld’s “empty core”).  Input on the character structure and primitive (part object) transferences from James Masterson and Otto Kernberg will be discussed, as well the phenomenology of splitting, dissociation, projective identification, introjective identification, derived from the theories of Melanie Klein.  Melanie Klein’s “fantasy state” reenactment and Ronald Fairbairn’s reenactments of relational primal trauma will be illustrated through clinical examples.  Ronald Fairbairn’s concepts of splits of the primal self will be discussed as the precedents of James Masterson’s theories.

Both clinical and literary examples will be presented from Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s own practice and from her books. Her own theories of self integration through “developmental mourning” and of pathological mourning in the form of psychic arrest, which is eroticized in the “demon lover complex,” will be discussed, with both clinical and literary examples.


  1. To learn the developmental/relational issues that are critical to forming the arrested psychological structure, and self-sabotaging interpersonal relations, of the Narcissistic Character Disorder and the Borderline PD;
  2. To learn the developmental/relational issues that are critical to understanding the psychic structure, and self-sabotaging interpersonal avoidances of the Schizoid Character Disorder;
  3. To understand how to translate these developmental issues into the a clinical technique based on both empathy and interpersonal engagement.

Please contact ORI administrator for more information – 646-522-1056 or via email:

To register/ RSVP, please fill out the registration form HERE or email at .

  • 3/25/12: Art, Play, Creativity and Intimate Experiences: Can the Player who played the Black Swan Play? Workshop by: Albert J. Brok, PhD
  • Dialectics of Mortality and Immortality: Time as a Persecutory vs. Holding Object
    Lecture/ paper presentation at The New York Psychoanalytic Society (with Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD)
  • Neuropsychiatric Syndromes: State of Mind in Chronic Illness (Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and others)
    (with Inna Rozentsvit, M.D., PhD)

Other 2011 workshops:

  • * Time as an Object: Time Management from the Inside Out.* * Mourning and Self Integration.* *Self Sabotage: Loyalty to Primal Others.* *True Self: The Emerging Voice and Its Obstacles – “Internal Editors”. Workshop Leader: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NPsyA, D.Litt.
  • Neuropsychiatric Syndromes: State of Mind in Chronic Illness (Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and others)
    (with Inna Rozentsvit, M.D., PhD)


Workshop leader – Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, D.Litt

In this workshop, Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler will address the core conflicts and fears that serve as self-sabotaging barriers to success in all areas of achievement, creativity, and love.  In the morning part of the workshop, Dr. Kavaler-Adler will discuss the theoretical and clinical issues related to dealing with barriers to success.  In the afternoon she will use an “in vivo” role-play, to demonstrate the clinical approach to such issues, where a volunteer workshop participant will play a patient, and Dr. Kavaler-Adler will play the analyst.

In life, we all aspire to both conscious and unconscious goals, but often there are psychological barriers that we may cling to and be haunted by, which block our aspirations.  Projected envy and terrors of the actual envy of others can block motivations to succeed, when dissociated and/or repressed primal rage intensify the intimidating power of projected hostility and envy, and of perceptions of others as rivalries in areas of competition.  Desire can be blocked by oedipal level fears of rivalry and hostile completion, but more primitive and primal fears of abandonment can also be at play, when developmental arrests have taken place in the preoedipal years of separation-individuation and self-integration

How we address these psychological blocks in a clinical situation is critical to helping patients in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, to overcome all their inhibitions and intimidations, as they attempt to motivate themselves to succeed in life.  Knowledge of the British and American object relations theories can be critical to help our patients free themselves up from unconscious conflicts that inhibit them, and from dissociated parts of them that are continually enacting self-sabotaging operations in their internal worlds, so that their external world progress is barred and blocked.  Dr. Kavaler-Adler will discuss Melanie Klein’s theories of unconscious envy and primitive rage related to blocks in love and creativity; Ronald Fairbairn’s “internal saboteur” operations, in which unconscious loyalties to primal bad objects sabotage all progress in life; D. W. Winnicott’s “hate in the countertransference” that highlights the provoked hostilities, which cause retaliations in public and private relations that can only be overcome by the psychotherapist’s “object survival;” and Wilfred Bion’s “attacks on linking,” in which one part of the mind attacks the other, as it disrupts all connections that could result in manifested motivations.  She will also address issues related to pathological mourning shown in so many cases in her own writings on object relations theory, and specifically on “fears of success.”

For further understanding of all these issues, those interested can read Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s National Gradiva Award (from NAAP 2004) winning book, Mourning, Spirituality, and Psychic Change: A new Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2003), where detailed cases are presented.  Also, Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s 2006 article on fears of success, entitled, “My Graduation is my Mother’s Funeral,” can be read in the International Forum of Psychoanalysis. (This article will be provided for all workshop participants.)  Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s other books and articles also address issues of success in life through the progress of “developmental mourning” versus barriers to success in arrested and pathological mourning, as seen in “the demon lover complex.”


The Potential of Transference, Countertransference and Enactment: The Cutting Edge

Workshop Leader: Claire Steinberger, Ed.D., J.D. 
16 West 16th Street (betw 5th & 6th ave); # 6MN; NYC, 10011

Read more about this workshop HERE.

Self-Sabotage as Loyalty to Internal Parental Objects:  Theoretical and Clinical Integrations

Lecture and Role-play at the NJ Society for Clinical Social Work
with Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, D.Litt

Location: 642 Pine Lakes Drive East, Wayne , NJ, 07470

The Nature and Use of Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities)
While Working with Patients in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Workshop Leader: Gibbs Williams, PhD 
41 Fifth Avenue, # 11A; NY, NY, 10003

A rising number of analysts are reporting an increasing frequency of coincidence prone patients in their practice. These seemingly inexplicable phenomena are often experienced with awe and a sense they may contain a coded message from some mysterious transcendent spiritual source. This workshop will describe various alternatives in explaining their nature and use in the clinical setting. Jung’s theory, which has been the nearly unchallenged authority in this field for the past fifty four years, will be critically evaluated.

Those who attend this workshop can expect to:

•     Explore perplexing issues associated with patients reporting synchronicities including: the meaning of meaning, how meaning is generated, and the role of spirituality, the occult, philosophy, the uncanny, chance, luck, karma, serendipity, creativity, and consciousness.
•     Identify challenging issues in working with synchronicity prone patients.
•     Exploring alternative theories including Jungian, Object Relations, Self and Freudian
•     Focus on the role of resistance, transference, and the unconscious (collective and personal) in working with synchronicity prone patients
•     Assess therapeutic progress or lack of it over time.
•     Learn about decoding both your own and your patient’s synchronicities.

Psychoanalyst Gibbs Williams Ph.D. has been researching these fascinating events for 50 years, and will draw from speculative philosophy, depth psychology, esoteric occult and spiritual traditions to explore the profound relevance synchronistic events have on our patient’s lives; and the revolutionary impact a serious study of so called a-causal phenomena could have on our scientific understanding. Gibbs is the author of: Demystifying Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities): The Evolving Self, The Personal Unconscious, and The Creative Process.
To maximize your experience of this workshop, you are invited to start a personal journal. Refer to Gibbs’ article on keeping a personal journal on his website: Date each entry. Make sure you detail any of the meaningful coincidences you have between now and the workshop. Additionally describe any meaningful coincidences you might remember and bring them with you. Lastly identify those issues preoccupying you at the time of your recorded synchronicities.

For more information
, please call 212-254-1084 (Dr. G. Williams) or 646 – 522-0387 (ORI Administrator) OR email to or.


Workshop at NAAP’S October 22nd, 2012 Annual Conference
Workshop Leader: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, Litt.D., NCPsyA
This workshop will be both theoretical and experiential.  The workshop leader will share brief case examples related to psychological trauma due to date rape, demon lover complex, fear of success, addiction, and early incest.
Discussion will include: 1) internal world dramas that are re-played repeatedly in the external world until the trauma is experienced, understood, and worked through in object relations psychoanalytic approach;  2) schizoid, narcissistic, and hysterical character defenses that are related to the time of the developmental arrest caused by the trauma; 3) psychic capacities that allowed for resilience and recovery in each of the traumatized subjects and how these capacities were revived and revitalized by a developmental mourning process, when they were partially dissociated through the trauma itself.

In experiential portion of the workshop,  Dr. Kavaler-Adler will lead a guided psychic visualization to help each workshop participant to go into their own internal worlds and have a dialogue with someone in that world about a past trauma in their own lives.  Those who wish to share their internal world experience with the workshop group will be invited to do so.

Spring-Summer 2011 Workshop Series (includes individual courses, conferences, and lectures)

Psychopathology and Character Disorders and the Object Relations Approach to Treatment. British Object Relations Theorists and Their Followers. 10-week course (Thursday evenings; 8:30-9:45pm).

Wilfred Bion and His Fundamental Clinical Concepts of the Analyst as an Actively Processing Psychic Container for the Patient’s Intolerable Internal World.  7-week course (Wednesday mornings, 9:30-10:45am).

Time as an Object: Time Management from the Inside Out (10am-3pm).Workshop Leader: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP.

The Nature and Use of Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities) While Working with Patients in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Workshop leader – Gibbs Williams, PhD.

American Object Relations Theory and Its Integration of the Seminal Contributions of the British Object Relations Theorists to Understanding Trauma and Character Disorder Reparation in Clinical Work. 7-week course (Wednesday mornings).


Dances of Intimacy: Transference, Countertransference and Enactment. An Object Relations Approach to Couple and Family Dynamics. Workshop Leader: Claire Steinberger, J.D., E.D.

Exploring Our Internal World: Time as an Object. Time Management from the Inside Out.
Workshop Leader:  Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler
This workshop plays with an Internal World view of time: for example in terms of time as being an object that is experienced as persecutory, versus time as an object that is holding.  This is a workshop about time related to internal dialectics versus polarized impasses in relation to time, all of which influence “time management” profoundly, but are never dealt with when the lens on time is external rather than internal.
This workshop focuses on facilitating the free motivational flow of time, as opposed to time trapped by compulsion such as “the compulsion to create” (Kavaler-Adler, 1993, 2000) (and not the free motivation to create. It focuses on the contrast between love addiction versus the free flow of loving feelings and intimate desire and intimate expression (as in the very unique dance of “Argentine Tango). We can also discuss time as a critical turning point in female development, as in the movie “Gigi.”  Also to be addressed are work addiction (workaholism) versus the free flow of work in its dialectical dimensions of “play.”  Winnicott’s “play” requires that time be experienced as holding rather than persecutory.
We will discuss the internal world personification of the “deadline” – as an object.  One of the past workshops’ participant said, “I have never been on time for a deadline.”  What does this do to one’s life?  I said, “I have never been late for a deadline, always early.”  What does this do to one’s life? And then the bigger existential questions are discussed: What are we all doing about the deadline of death?  What psychic and transitional space do we cultivate for ourselves when we contemplate our mortality?
As with the earlier workshop on this topic, Dr. Kavaler-Adler will conduct an experiential group sharing, through the use of guided psychic visualization, during the afternoon part of this workshop.

  • 2/21/09 – Guilt: From Neurotic to Existential Guilt as Grief and Compassion. The Question as an Object. Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, NCPsyA, D.Litt.
  • 2/28/09 – An Object Relations View on the Role of Loss in Infertility Treatment and Adoption. Lisa Schuman, LCSW
  • 4/18/09 – Resolving Self Sabatoge: An Object Relations Perspective. Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D. ABPP, NCPsyA, D. Litt
  • 5/09/09 – The Creative Use of Melancholia. Jeffrey Seinfeld, Ph.D. and Robinson Lillienthal, Ph.D. – presenters. Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, NCPsyA, D. Litt – discussant.
  • 6/20/09 – Self Sabotage II: The Ghost of Unconscious Loyalties. Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D. ABPP, NCPsyA, D.Litt.


with Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, NCPsyA, D.Litt.

This theoretical and experiential workshop is a follow-up event for the ORI annual conference, which is designed to help participants to understand the underpinnings of self-sabotage, fear of envy, and fear of success in both their patients and in themselves, by helping them to understand the unconscious loyalties to intrapsychic primal parental figures who bind them to patterns of self- sabotage.

Mini-lecture and discussion of this topic will be conducted in the morning. In afternoon, participants of this workshop will have a unique opportunity to look into their internal world experiences during the psychic guided visualization. Participants will be helped to experience the feelings and thoughts that may be blocked or unarticulated due to loyalties to early life attachments, and due to internalized identifications with inhibiting and envious figures from their past and present. The different affect states related to retaliation against the self  be defined when they are experienced in the group.  In this way, the work of letting go can proceed through reaching affect states of grief and loss that renew love, and thus renew the basic human capacity for connection that inspires the individual creative genius in each person.

Bio: Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler is a Founder and Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute ( 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) & Object Relations Theorist. Dr. Kavaler-Adler has eleven awards for her writing – 7 from Postgraduate Center, 4 memorial awards, 3 awards from NIP, and the National Gradiva award from NAAP. Visit – for more information on upcoming events, groups, and consultations with Dr. Kavaler-Adler.

Art, Play, Creativity and Intimate Experiences: Can the Player who played the Black Swan Play?

Workshop by: Albert J. Brok, PhD

Place: 285 West End Ave 8N-E; NYC 10023

Creativity is indeed a complex capacity.  I will share for your critique some thoughts about the birth of the creative process in potential space, its subsequent development, it differentiation from “madness” and its importance for the capacity to play, the capacity for improvisation, the capacity to love and the internalization of metaphor all as a way of being salubriously involved in the creation of an artistic process whether it be ballet in the dance world or the “ballet of life.” To elucidate this, I will use some brief film clips from the recent Academy Award nominated film “The Black Swan” to illustrate both the potential for such capacities and what happens when they are not available to the artistic protagonist: in this case “Nina”, played by Natalie Portman in the Black Swan.  In the process, we will also briefly discuss Nina’s idealized/jealous relation with Thomas, her attempt to free herself in the only way she could from an internalized anti-creative, anti-playful, and sublimely envious mother and the role played by the implied absence of an equilibrating father.

Creativity and artistic processes can be trumped by Oedipal and pre-oedipal concerns and conflicts inhibiting the capacity to play. Such a situation results in the concretization of an ego ideal rather than accruing help from “agency of the ideal”.  The relation to sublimation in artistic production, and in life, will also be discussed.  In sum, elaborating my own (Albert Brok ) point of view and drawing from Winnicott,  Freud, Klein and others  l will propose that internalization of Play as an “available state”  in potential space, influences the form and substance of subsequent relationship styles  and is an important precursor for a creative process that is not concretized and a necessary component for the capacity of metaphoric involvement.

Through the film clips of the Black Swan and discussion, we will see how the metaphoric capacity necessary for a good actor to act, a good ballet dancer to dance, and any person to live life as creative art (where possible), elucidates our fundamental lived  human experience.  Finally, I will share some thoughts on how a sense of art for the both analyst and patient is a crucial factor for any profound psychoanalytic process, as well as how a profound psychoanalytic process can help the creation of creativity and the art of play to evolve.  Much of this illuminates the profound value of the aesthetic in human relationships.

Al Brok, PhD, CGP: Director Group and Couples Training, TIMH, New York; President elect , Section 1, Div. 39 (Psychoanalysis),APA; Executive Board, Div. of Psychoanalysis, NYSPA; Board: Div.39, (Psychoanalysis), APA; Guest Presenter and Cineanalises Group, Argentine Psychoanalytic Assoc.,Buenos Aires; Faculty, Derner Institute, Adelphi Univ.; Visiting Faculty, Kazakhstan Psychoanalytic Assoc., Almaty, Kazakhstan; International Committee, Section (Couples, Family and Psychoanalysis), Div. 39, APA; Training Committee, ORI.