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SCIENTIFIC MEETING – The Untelling: Enactment, Transformation & the Construction of the Past

SCIENTIFIC MEETING - The Untelling: Enactment, Transformation & the Construction of the Past

Presenter: Robert Grossmark, PH.D, ABPP

Wednesday, November 15, 2023: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm (no break)

TPS Scientific Meeting: Open to Members, Affiliates/Guests, TIP Candidates, and ATPPP Trainees Only

** DISTANCE PARTICIPATION ONLY – Registration deadline is one week prior to the meeting. Please RSVP by email to Preregistration is required.

Trauma and neglect are often not inscribed symbolically and thus remain unrepresented and unremembered. As such they can be said to reside in an “unpast” that retains a hold over the psyche, limiting thought, experience and affect. Building on Dominick Scarfone’s concept of the unpast – that which has not been subject to time – I will describe how an unobtrusive relational analyst companions the patient into worlds of inchoate experience, breakdown (Winnicott) and de-translation (Laplanche) that announce trauma and neglect in the dimension of mutual enactment and constitute a unique “untelling”, a lived narrative of what is not yet known or thought that exists in an “atemporal present” (Scarfone). A case example will amplify these theoretical ideas and illustrate how the unknown “unpast” is transformed via the “untelling” of mutual enactment into a lived experience that can then become the past and allow the patient to be free.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. identify manifestations of “unpast” trauma.
  2. companion patients in unsymbolized experiences.
  3. discern the difference between being unobtrusive and being neutral.
  4. identify and engage with mutual enactments as they unfold.
Robert Grossmark, PH.D, ABPP

Robert Grossmark, PH.D, ABPP is a psychoanalyst in New York City. He works with individuals, couples, and groups and conducts national and international psychoanalytic study and supervision groups. He is on the teaching and supervising faculty at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, The National Institute for the Psychotherapies Program in Adult Psychoanalysis, The National Training Program in Psychoanalysis, The Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society Training Program, National Faculty Member, the Florida Psychoanalytic Center and lectures at other psychoanalytic institutes and clinical psychology training programs nationally and internationally. He is an Associate Editor for Psychoanalytic Dialogues.

He is the author of The Unobtrusive Relational Analyst: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Companioning and co-edited The One and the Many: Relational Approaches to Group Psychotherapy and Heterosexual Masculinities: Contemporary Perspectives from Psychoanalytic Gender Theory, all published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

He conducts psychoanalytic reading and consultation groups in person and online.

This event is eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour). 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.

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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