european group study & Consultation

keeping ourselves alive & Engaged in our depth work
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Theme for june 2021

ENTERING THE DEPTHS:  HAVING & HOLDING THE TROUBLE IN MIND

The European Supervision/Study group meets monthly on a Wednesday from 1:00 – 4:00pm 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 2021

Seeing The Function of Defenses: Holding Trouble In Mind 

How to think in new ways about the trouble our clients bring in to the therapy process.

KEY CONCEPTS: 

  • Understand The Creative Origin of the Defensive Posture As a Best Solution at the Time
  • Grasping  The Underlying Function the Defense.
  • Working With Defenses, not Against Them.

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.

June 11th, 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 2021

Letting Come, Letting Go, Letting In:
The Delicacy & Vitality of Surrender

How to become deeply receptive to both your client and the unfolding process between you.

KEY CONCEPTS: 

  • Understanding shared vulnerability as you work with the unknown.
  • Understanding what it really means to ‘trust the process’.
  • Allowing the client to grow in their own time and own way.

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 2021

Enlivening the Process:
Being A Steadying vs  Disturbing Force

How to bring immediacy and dynamic tension into a process that can move with possibility.

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • Addressing the difference between evoking and provoking a process.
  • Understanding support vs challenge functions.
  • Moving from static states to dynamic processes.

January 2022

Working With Aggression:
Coming Up Against Another  

 How to understand the functions of aggression as a life force that moves life forward.

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • How aggression makes the environment matter again.
  • Securing vs destroying another.
  • Being able to withstand the aggression of our clients.

February 2022

 Assessment 2:
Building on Foundation For Depth Work

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.