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Event Series Event Series: Object Relations

Object Relations

March 6, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm, Wyman Classroom

2-Year Certificate Program (2YCP)
2022-23, 3rd Term — Mondays, 6:30-7:45pm

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March 6, 2023 — An introduction to the work of Betty Joseph and the writing of Anne Alvarez

[28 pages]

In this sixth class we will be introduced to the writing and thinking of Betty Joseph by viewing a short video clip and reading one of her papers.  Joseph left an important legacy that contributes significantly to our understanding of many aspects of the therapeutic relationship from an Object Relations perspective.

In her classic and influential paper Joseph describes how our earliest object relations can be lived out in the transference.  These internalized experiences with care-givers “…built up from infancy and elaborated in childhood and adulthood…” shape the nature of our anxieties and defenses that influence how we are put together, giving rise to habitual ways of relating and being.  Joseph emphasizes that these phenomena are lived out in the transference relationship between patient and therapist/analyst.  The patient communicates these early experiences to us in non-verbal forms through the transference.   It is by paying close attention to our bodily and emotional countertransference feelings that we can understand what the patient needs to show us.

Joseph, B. (2013) “Meeting Betty Joseph” Youtube video. Institute of Psychoanalysis, November 5, 2013.

Joseph, B. (1985). Transference: The Total Situation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 66:447-454.

Alvarez, A. (2010). “Levels of Analytic Work and Levels of Pathology: the Work of Calibration.” IJP 91:859-878

Point of focus:  Think of a clinical situation in which you notice in yourself certain reactions to a patient/client – tendencies towards boredom/deadness, agitation, frustration, erotic…whatever.   What might that reaction tell you about what is going on between you?  What might it tell you about your client’s inner world built up from earlier object ties?

Point of focus: Joseph shows us that there is a relationship between dreams and the transference.  Through dreams we can often understand more fully what we as therapists are dealing with in the transference.  Is there a dream that either you or your patient had that tells you something about the relationship?


March 6, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
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(206) 328-5315
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4020 E Madison St, #230
Seattle, WA 98112
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(206) 328-5315
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