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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Exciting Bad-Objects?

Recovering from splits in our perception of self-and-other

With speakers Dr David Celani, David Millar, Anna Santamouris, Dr Estela Welldon

Saturday 24 February 2018 - London

09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Anna Santamouris

Desire and the Bad Object
Considering destructive forces in the unconscious, this presentation will explore repetition compulsion, particularly in relation to abusive relationships as the focus of desire, even when the patient knows that the object relational dynamic is dangerous to their well-being. Here, the compulsion is viewed as a by-product of the interplay between the imaginary and real with the Other. We will think about pleasure as a reduction in tension and - for some people - the overwhelming urge towards the pleasure principal. We will examine how the death drive shows itself in the addiction to a deadly bad other, and the interplay between these two competing positons will be explored. How do we work with clients or patients who are trapped in patterns of desire that function as a painful and repetitive defense against deeper connectedness?
11.15   Coffee
11.45   Dr Estela Welldon

Fascination and rejection of the "bad" object in others and ourselves
One of the interesting relational positions that we encounter in both life and in some patients is the tendency to judge, condemning the badness in the other and thus distancing ourselves from painful awareness of moral limitations located within. In this way we give rise to an experience of virtue or goodness in ourselves by proxy. This discussion will be rooted in our understanding of adverse developmental experiences in which we learn that others are not safe, and which require the child to negotiate deep and enduring feelings of fault. Estela Welldon will consider the placing of good and bad objects as our means of managing such intense emotions of love, humiliation, shame and hatred. It is very important to remember this to be able to fully understand the value of the so-called negative transference. She will offer some clinical vignettes which demonstrate our differing response and our clinical duty to disengage completely from any high-minded stance and to rely exclusively on our deep psychoanalytical understanding of the complexities of the self in relation to perceived moral values.
13.00   Lunch
14.15   David Millar

What is the attraction of wrongdoing? Exciting the bad object within
There would seem to be an almost universal attraction to hearing, reading or watching bad news unfold. Some might say there is an insatiable demand or, perhaps, a voyeuristic need to witness and/or sit in judgement upon those who do wrong: socially, legally, ethically, professionally, culturally and, of course, politically. If wrongdoing holds such sway over the many, what is the attraction for the few who carry out such acts of wrongdoing? In this presentation, David Millar will look for the locus and meaning of the bad object and where it can be located - without and within. He will ask: how do we address this phenomenon in psychotherapy?
15.30   Tea
15.45   Dr David Celani

The therapist as good or bad object?
This presentation will examine and update Fairbairn's unique model of change - from the outset of pathology that begins with attachment to bad objects, to their metamorphosis into internal structures, and finally to techniques of treatment that reduce their influence on the patients' internal world. In considering treatment strategies we will follows Fairbairn's metapsychology. We will focuses first on the analyst becoming a good object in the eyes of the patient, then unearthing bad object memories in a safe and compassionate interpersonal environment, engaging the patient's substructures in a manner that does not intensify preexisting internal templates, and finally aiding the patient in resuming his or her stalled emotional development. This exegesis of Fairbairn original model, along with recent modifications that have been made to it, demonstrates the consistency, clear focus, and utility of this little-known metapsychology.
17.00   End

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Handouts and lunch included
This event only
Self-funded: £130 (Sold out)
Self-funded x 2: £200 (Sold out)
Organisationally-funded: £200 (Sold out)

This event and the seminar The Seductive Allure of the Bad Object on Friday 23 Feb 2018
Self-funded: £230 (Sold out)
Self-funded x 2: £390 (Sold out)
Organisationally-funded: £380 (Sold out)

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

Grange Fitzrovia Hotel
Bolsover Street

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch break
15:30 Tea
17:00 End