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“Tears of Stone: Terror in the Face of Medusa” with Stan Case, LCSW, PhD (SPSI Scientific Session)

September 21, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Early in life, if mothering is experienced as othering, frightened and frightening attachment expectations can get set in stone. Winnicott said that the infant’s first mirror is the mother’s face, in which the infant learns to feel seen and known, and to feel for and know the other. Developmental research shows how a caregiver’s “still face” stirs deeply disturbing emotions. Whether maternal mirroring or mirror neurons is our metaphor of choice, the challenge for the psychoanalyst is to be-hold our analysand’s darkest terror while strengthening their protective shield—which Perseus mythically held by facing her through a mirror. Three kinds of distortion—internalized early and externalized in later relationships—will exemplify this: the flat mirror (minimizing the self-image), the carnival mirror (magnifying a carnal self), and the shattering mirror (causing violent self-fragmentation). These three primal domestic terrors reemerge in our collective schisms and ostracisms.

Stan Case, LCSW, PhD is in private practice in Edmonds, Washington. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society. He is a courtesy Clinical Supervisor in the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Discussant: Kelly Shanks Lippman, LMHC

Kelly Shanks Lippman, LMHC, is a psychoanalyst and child-focused family mediator in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is on the faculty at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and serves as a courtesy Clinical Supervisor in the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Learning Objectives

After attending this presentation, participants should be able to:

  1. appreciate the nuances within the category of disorganized attachment
  2. working with states of terror stemming from early developmental trauma
  3. appreciate the role that dominant-submissive dynamics in dyads and groups can result in the dehumanization and demonization of the vulnerable.
1.5 hours Category II CME. This presentation meets the requirements of WAC 246-924-240 (Definition of Category of Creditable CPE). “This program has been approved for 1.5 CEUs by the NASW Washington State Chapter.” Licensed Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors are eligible. Provider number is #1975-144.

If you have a psychoanalytic idea that you would like to present, contact Stan Case or Ron Levin. Presenting offers the benefit of having your idea discussed and further developed.

SPSI Scientific Sessions are free to attendees.

Coming Attractions:


September 21, 2021
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


(206) 328-5315
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