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“The ‘Cruelty’ of the Psychoanalytic Method and Antonin Artaud’s Theater” with Oscar Romero MD (SPSI Scientific Session)

January 21, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Presented by Oscar Romero, MD

This presentation traces a parallel between the psychoanalytic method, which facilitates the emergence of painful, transformative, at times terrifying, experiences in the here-and-now relationship between patient and analyst, and ‘Cruelty’ discussed by Artaud in his First Manifesto of The Theatre of Cruelty initially published in 1932. Antonin Artaud created the term ‘Cruelty’ to refer to the powerful, painful, transformative experience that a genuine theater should provoke in the audience as an acute happening—a blurring of the boundaries between audience and performers—takes place.

The ability to understand, accept, and welcome terrifying passages in psychoanalysis and in art is what allows the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis to occur and what makes art impactful. In this presentation special attention is paid to non-verbal communications and the inanimate environment in the analytic encounter. These experiences are essential to all psychoanalytic therapies, especially when working with patients who have suffered severe early trauma.

Oscar Romero, MD is a Training and Supervising Analyst, and a faculty member of The Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, The Northwestern Society and Institute, and The Center for Object Relations. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Washington and is in private practice in Seattle.

“The Cruelty of Emotion”

Discussant: Judy K. Eekhoff, PhD FIPA

Judy K. Eekhoff, PhD FIPA is a Training and Supervising Analyst at The Northwestern Psychoanalytic Institute and on the faculty of The Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, The Northwestern Society and Institute, The Center for Object Relations, and The Northwest Family Development Center. She is in private practice in Seattle.

Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Increase their capacity for understanding troublesome but necessary dynamic interactions emerging from a transference relationship.
  2. Understand and overcome resistances to deepening treatment out of fear of emotional turbulence and suffering, elicited in both the patient and the analyst/therapist.
  3. Increase their capacity and courage to remain available during treatment while intense effects are stimulated, and feel traumatic, in the analyst’s internal and external reality.
  4. Be reassured about the value of psychoanalytic therapy, where science and art meet to help our patients.
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, but seating may be limited.
Please RSVP to ensure a seat.

Coming Attractions:


January 21, 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


(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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