european group study & Consultation

keeping ourselves alive & Engaged in our depth work
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Theme for March 18th 2022

Working with Counter-transference &  Interpretations

The European Supervision/Study group typically meets monthly on a Wednesday from 1:00 – 4:00pm ET or a Friday from 10:00am – 1:00pm ET.

The group is private, and is by invitation only.  It is limited to a maximum of 8 people.  All group members must have an active caseload of individual clients.

The cost is $90 per person per group, regardless of your ability to attend each session.  Sessions are to be paid by the day of each session, through the PayPal link on the month’s preparation page.

All sessions can be recorded, viewable only for the participants of this established group.

LOOKING Forward

Potential Areas Of Study

Working With Character in Depth Work -having what it takes to stay on the slow and steady road of profound but incremental change.  What Stephen Johnson called the ‘hard work miracle’.

Working With A Particular Character of Interest – taking a deeper dive into character issues that are quite relevant to the current social milieu, but tend to be under-identified and misunderstood – such as Hysteric & Paranoid characters.

Working With the Dynamics of Breakdown –bringing a deeper awareness to the implications of what happens when a client begins to deteriorate or fall apart, and contrasting that with when the facilitating environment fails the client.

Working Further With the Dynamics of Emergence vs Retreat – understanding the dynamic tension needed to sustain an ‘approach’ to what is possible,  vs. the tendencies to over-protect the self by retreating from perceived threats. 

archives

Monthly Themes

May 21st, 2021

Assessment:
Laying The Foundation
For Depth Work

How to hold the frame for both what the trouble is that has the client in the room, and how to frame the therapy process.

KEY CONCEPTS

  • Providing psycho-education. about therapy and how it works.
  • Addressing realistic expectations for the therapy process.
  • Caretaking vs ‘doing  your ‘job’ -getting a job description.
  • Assessing a client’s capacity to build and use resources.

September 17, 2021

Active Witnessing – A Vitalizing Holding Function

Understanding active witnessing as a way to enlivening and contain the depths of our clients’ process.

KEY CONCEPTS: 

  • Understand The Functions of Witnessing
  • Grasping The Emotional Importance of the Client’s Self Exploration.
  • Providing an ‘engaged non-intrusiveness’ of behalf of the client.
  • Witnessing provides an essential vitalizing function.

June 18th, 2021

Entering the Depths:
 Having & Holding
The Trouble in Mind

How to assess and think about the trouble being presented by the client, and how to frame a workable therapeutic process.  

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • Whose trouble is whose?
  • Working with attunement and differentiation.
  • Getting beyond the presenting complaint.
  • How to hold the trouble with and for the client.
  • Being able to make process observations and associative links.

October 15th, 2021

Working With Aggression:
Making the Environment Important Again

How to assess and think about the trouble being presented by the client, and understand its fundamental connection to their own sense of aggression.  

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • Whose trouble is whose?
  • Working with attunement and differentiation.
  • Getting beyond the presenting complaint.
  • How to hold the trouble with and for the client.
  • Being able to make process observations and associative links.

July 30th, 2021

Containing the Process:
The Functions Of A Holding Container

 How to receive & hold the same disruptive forces that are troubling the life of the client, and engage with them.

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • Bion’s containing function.
  • Communication, reception, reflection and response.
  • Bearing dynamic tension – using our bodies to receive our client’s mind.
  • Receptive vs Active Holding
  • Holding the client in mind and body as to support a process of dynamic tension.

November 2021

 Active Witnessing:

The Functions of Recognition – Being Seen & Heard

 How to appreciate the functions of witnessing for bringing forward unconscious material.

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • Engaged non-intrusiveness.
  • Don’t look away and don’t impose your knowledge.
  • The complimentary position to interventions & interpretations.
  • Being in service as an ‘other’.

December 3rd 2021

Working With Character – Part 1:
As Defense & As Communication

How to understand character as a solution that was necessary at its origin point.

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • Ego syntonic vs ego dystonic experiences and identifications.
  • Understanding defense as a communication that has not been able to grow.
  • Moving from static states to dynamic processes.

December 17th 2021

Working With Character Part 2:
Unconscious Communication & Countertransference 

 How to approach the client’s trouble in ways that allows them to hold new possibilities in mind.

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • Appreciation for how much the unconscious holds power over the ego wishes and capacities.
  • Technique is attitude realized.
  • Exploring the meanings and forces behind disordered thinking, feeling and acting.

January 28th, 2022

 The Borderline Condition & Countertransference Dynamics

How to Gather A Client’s Personal History, and To Effectively Set the Stage for How the Process Works

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • What To Learn About A Client’s Past Lived Experiences
  • Providing ‘PsychoEducation’
  • Addressing What To Expect
  • Assessing A Client’s Resources & Their Capacity To Be Helped
Bollas argues that character is not simply a defensive derivative:
Being a character means that one is a spirit, that one conveys something in one’s being which is barely identifiable as it moves through others to create personal effects, but which is more deeply graspable when one’s spirit moves through the mental life of the other, to leave its trace.”
Bollas captures the paradox of character:  That while character contains the intention to constrain and foreclose otherness, it also needs the other to come to life, to make its mark, to find its meaning.  (This is a key understanding of character.)

– From Somatic Experience in Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy

 

EXTRA RESOURCES

CIVILIZATION AND THE DISCONTENTED

A Presentation on 8-8-20 by Christopher Bollas

This is a remarkable presentation which  I was fortunate enough to attend via Zoom.   Bollas provides deep insight and thoughtful reflection into the collective mind of the US nation/state in these current times of chaos and disruption.