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48th ATPPP Scientific Session

48th ATPPP Scientific Session

Embodyment and the Perversion of Subjective Desire

Presenter: Andrea Celenza, PhD

Discussant: Christine Dunbar, MD

Saturday, April 7, 2018: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cost: $100

Open to all by registration. Preregistration is required.

The case of a young woman, Laura, who struggles with an unusual fear about her sexuality, is used to illustrate ways in which subjective positions and affective (embodied) states can be defended against and culminate in a perverse mode of relating. A schematic is offered that depicts various subjective positions (The Embodied Subject, The Reflective Self or “I,” The Subjective Object or “Me,” The Objectified Self or “It,” and Unconscious Processes or “Not Me”). Powerpoint slides will be used to illustrate the schematic, the subjective positions and their interpenetration. A modification illustrating a perverse mode of relating depicts the Embodied Subject as dissociated and how Laura struggles against a feeling of her embodied sexuality.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session participants will be able:

  1. Identify perverse modes of relating and perverse uses of one’s body so that clinical modalities can target dissociative processes.
  2. Reformulate, explore and address disembodied forms of subjective desire to linke and contain their patient’s affective experience.
  3. Enhance their knowledge, practice and improve the quality of analytic process and communication in relation to perverse scenarios.
  4. Describe the difference between healthy and perverse modes of relating.
  5. Demonstrate the clinical utility of identifying various positions of subjectivity, such as the Embodied Subject, the Reflective Self and the Subjective Object.
ATPPP Scientific Committee

Marco Posadas, MSW, RSW Chair
Doron Almagor, MD, FRCP
Claire Lunney, MD, CCFP
Susan K. Moore, PhD, RP, FIPA

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Andrea Celenza, PhD

Andrea Celenza, PhD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School. She has authored and presented numerous papers on the evaluation and treatment of therapists who have engaged in sexual misconduct with a focus on training and supervisory issues. Her book, Sexual Boundary Violations: Therapeutic, Supervisory and Academic Contexts, was published by Jason Aronson in 2007. She has recently produced an online videorecorded lecture on sexual boundary violations designed for ethics seminars, group viewing or individual use.

Dr. Celenza is Co-Director (with Martha Stark, MD) of an online program in Psychoanalytic Studies. As
part of this program, she teaches an online course, What, Where is Psychoanalysis: Classic Concepts, New Meanings designed for teachers, students, supervisors and practitioners who want a firm grounding in psychoanalytic theorizing and practice.

Dr. Celenza has been the recipient of several awards, including the Karl A. Menninger Memorial Award, the Felix & Helena Deutsch Prize and the Symonds Prize. Her new book on erotic transferences and countertransferences is: Erotic Revelations: Clinical Applications and Perverse Scenarios, published by Routledge. She is in private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA.

Christine Dunbar, MD

Christine Dunbar is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at the TIP.
She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry University of Toronto.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are available. This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certificate Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone. As per the Royal College standard, each presentation provides a minimum of 25% interactive learning.

Full-time students in universities and colleges, and mental-health trainees are eligible for a 25% reduction in course fees. Proof of 2017/2018 status needs to be provided. Please contact the tps&i directly to register at a discount.

Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of a course. A handling fee of $30 will be retained. After these two weeks, fees cannot be returned.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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