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414 Advanced Clinical Seminar on Perversion – 3 seminars

Course Leaders: D. Traub-Werner, MD and C. Lunney, MD

Course Description

The aim of this course is to update the current thinking on perversion and perverse scenarios in order to become familiar with the subject of perversion, to identify the perverse structure, the aim and function of perversion; to diagnose perverse scenarios and treat perversion.

In preparation for this course, participants should watch the movie Music Box (1989) directed by Costa Gavras. Without giving out the plot, the movie is an excellent example of the use of disavowal in perverse scenarios and, the last scene shows how perversion, by sacrificing part of the reality, protects the structure of the whole.

Course Objectives

Candidates will have the necessary skills to:

  1. Conceptualize the historical evolution of the concepts of normal and pathological sexuality in the psychoanalytic literature from the XIX to the XXI century (seminar 1) (1.1, 1.2a,b).
  2. Identify, define, and diagnose perversion and perverse scenarios (seminar 1) (1.2)
  3. Define the metapsychology of perversion and perverse scenarios from a developmental, structural, topographic, economic and adaptive perspective (seminar 1) (1.2).
  4. Apply object-relations theory to the psychodynamics of perversions and perverse scenarios (seminar 1) (1.2).
  5. Understand the location of the diagnostic category of perversion vis a vis neurosis, borderline conditions and psychosis (seminar 2) (1.3).
  6. Identify the overlap between perversion, addiction and eating disorder (seminar 2) (1.3).
  7. Understand how the perverse structure sacrifices a portion of the Self in its relation to reality to preserve the integrity of the whole Self (seminar 2) (1.2).
  8. Identify and treat the major conflicts inherent in perversion and its prevalent defences(seminar 3) (1.2).
  9. Identify the prevalent transferences and counter-transferences inherent in the assessment and treatment of perversion (seminar 3) (1.4, 4.3).
  10. Maintain professional psychoanalytic boundaries under the pressure of a regressive transference and its mirror regression in the counter-transference (seminar 3) (4.2e, 4.3b).
  11. Affect change using psychoanalytic tools in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of perversions and perverse scenarios (seminar 3) (4.5g).

Seminar 1

The Evolution of the Concept of Perversion

Required Readings

Freud S. (1927). Fetishism. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 21, 149-157.

Stoller, R.J. (1974). Hostility and mystery in perversion. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 55, 425-434.

McDougall, J. (2000). Sexuality and the neosexual. Modern Psychoanalysis, 25(2), 155-166.

Celenza, A. (2014). Introduction: Transcending binaries. In Erotic Revelations: Clinical Applications and Perverse Scenarios (pp. 1-10; 13-24). London: Routledge.

Supplementary Readings

Parsons, M. (2000). Sexuality and perversion: a hundred years of discovering what Freud discovered. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 81, 37-49.

Tuch, R. (2010). Murder on the mind: tyrannical power and other points along the perverse spectrum. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 91(1), 141-162.

Seminar 2

Perversion and its relationship to Reality

Required Readings

Freud S. (1940). Splitting of the ego in the process of defence. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 23, 273-278.

Glover E. (1933). The relation of perversion-formation to the development of reality-sense. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 14, 486-504.

Steiner J. (1993). Chapter 8: The relationship to reality in psychic retreats. In Psychic Retreats (pp. 88-102). London: Routledge.

Supplementary Reading

Steiner, J. (1993). Chapter 9: Perverse relationships in pathological organizations. In Psychic Retreats (pp.103-115). London: Routledge.

Seminar 3

The Treatment of Perversion

Required Readings

Joseph, B. (1971). A clinical contribution to the analysis of a perversion. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 52, 441-449.

Renik, O. (1992). Use of the analyst as a fetish. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61, 542-563.

Ogden, T.H. (1996). The perverse subject of analysis. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 44, 1121-1146.

Supplementary Reading

Olesker, W. (2011). The story of Sam: continuities and discontinuities in development, transforming into and out of a perversion. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 65, 48-78.

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