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A psychoanalytic view of reactions to the coronavirus pandemic in China*

Published in 2020 in The American Journal of Psychoanalysis* 80:119–132

Presented extemporaneously with PowerPoint by the author Jerome S. Blackman, MD, FIPA
*paper available upon request


6:30 to 8:30 PM via Zoom.

Zoom room number is 527–999–5540 (no password required)

Free of charge.


Keyhill Sheorn, MD
1001 Boulders Parkway, Suite 160
Richmond, VA 23225 804.323.0003


It almost seems superfluous to describe Jerry’s activities, since we in the analytic society are familiar with them. But for those of you who are unfamiliar with his recent work, here is a brief bio:

He has been an online consultant/lecturer and supervisor to the outpatient center at Wuhan-German Psychological Hospital for the past 7 years. He has been lecturing for 3 years at Shanghai Mental Health Center, both as a consultant to their inpatient eating disorders center, and as a general lecturer, online about psychoanalytic concepts.
Through the Harvard Medical School – Shanxi Medical University Project, he was appointed to a three-year post as Distinguished Professor of Mental Health at Shanxi Medical University in Taiyuan, 2018-2021 and has taught there in person and online.
He has also offered one-man, usually 3-year training programs online and on-site in China in Nanjing, Shenyang, Jiaxing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing.
In the U.S., he is a Full Professor of Psychiatry at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA, and a Training and Supervising Analyst with the Contemporary Freudian Society in Washington, DC.
He is the author of 3 books (, all of which have been translated into different languages. He co-authored Sexual Aggression Against Children with our ex-President, Dr. Kathleen Dring, in 2016 (NY: Routledge)
During the current coronavirus epidemic, please address correspondence to Jerry at his home: 808 Beldover Court, Virginia Beach, VA 23452. Email:; Cell Phone: 757.679.3000
*This paper, in somewhat different form, was published in the journal of Shanghai Mental Health Center, 心理学通讯 2020年 第3卷 第1期 (Psychological Newsletter 2020; 3 [1]): 72-76, in Mandarin Chinese, on March 1, 2020.
The paper is drawn from a lecture given by the author, online, to 150 professionals at Shanghai Mental Health Center (Jiao Tong Medical School, Shanghai) on March 3, 2020, at the request of Chen Jue, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, and Qiu Jianyin, M.D., Professor and Director of Shanghai Mental Health Center.

Continuing Education

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. For further information, contact Eli Zaller, M.D. at or 804-288-3251.

Up to 2.0 CEU’s are available for Licensed Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Professional Counselors in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Virginia Board of Psychology. There is no extra fee beyond the cost of the meeting. Eligibility for credit is contingent upon the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society’s receipt of the forms verifying attendance, as signed and validated by the monitor at the meeting. For further information, contact Margaret Duvall, Ph.D. at or 804-340-5290.

Up to 2.0 CEU’s are available for MSW’s pending approval by NASW VIRGINIA. The application costs are included in your registration fee. MSW CEU requests will be sent to NASW VIRGINIA by the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society. For further information, contact Susan Stones, LCSW or 757-622-9852×15.


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Blackman, J. (2003). 101 defenses: How the mind shields itself. New York: Routledge.

Blackman, J. (2010). Get the diagnosis right: Assessment and treatment selection for mental disorders. New York: Routledge.

Blackman, J. (2018). Defensive arrogance in adult philanderers. In S. Akhtar & A. Smolen (Eds.), Arrogance: Developmental, cultural, and clinical realms (pp. 58–74). New York: Routledge.

Blackman, J., & Dring, K. (2016). Sexual aggression against children: Pedophiles’ and abusers’ development, dynamics, treatability, and the law. New York: Routledge.

Blechner, M. J. (1993). Psychoanalysis and HIV disease. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 29, 61–80.

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October 16 & 17, 2020

Eastern Virginia Medical School
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
And The Virginia Psychoanalytic Society
(an Affiliate Society of the American Psychoanalytic Association)

Take pleasure in announcing that Salman Akhtar, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, Training
& Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia
Author, Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis
(London: Karnac 2012) & 98 other books
Will present the
2nd Annual Jerome S Blackman MD
Lectureship in Psychoanalysis

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 – EVMS Hofheimer Hall, Norfolk

1:00-2:30 PM: Suicidal Threats: Meaning And Management
(Grand Rounds lecture – 2nd floor Hofheimer Hall Auditorium)
2:30-3:00 PM: Break
3:00-4:30 PM: Interview of a Patient, via Zoom by Dr. Akhtar – Room 753, 7th floor Hofheimer Hall
followed by Q and A


7:00-8:00 PM: Letting Go: Detachment Theory’ and Its Clinical Usefulness
8:00-8:30 PM: Q and A
8:30 PM: Final comments and end
3:00-4:00 PM: Four Kinds Of Analytic Listening
4:00-4:30 PM: Q and A
4:30-4:45 PM: Break
4:45-5:45 PM: Listening to Silence
5:45-6:30 PM: Q and A
Registration Fees – to be determined


OBJECTIVES – Suicidal Threats: Meaning And Management – EVMS
(Grand Rounds lecture – 2nd floor Hofheimer Hall Auditorium)
Enumerate the important demographic variables associated with suicide.
Identify various motivations underlying suicide and hence better empathize with suicidal patients.
Describe the factors important in the assessment of suicidal risk.
References for Suicidal Threats
1. Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and melancholia . Standard Edition 14 : 237-260.
2. Ferenczi, S (1929 ). The unwelcome child and his death instinct In: Final Contributions to
Psychoanalysis, pp.102-107.New York : Brunner/Mazel

3. Akhtar, S. (2009). Suicidal threats. In: Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy, pp 119-142.London
Karnac Books.
OBJECTIVES – Letting Go: Detachment Theory’ And Its Clinical Usefulness
Enumerate various types of detachment.
Understand the role played by detachment in normal development.
Empathize better with patients struggling with inadequate or excessive detachment.
References for Letting Go: Detachment Theory’ And Its Clinical Usefulness
1. Bromberg, P (1979). The use of detachment in narcissistic and borderline conditions. Journal of the
American Academy of Psychoanalysis 7: 593-600.
2. Pietroni, A (1993). Attachment, detachment, and non-attachment. Journal of Analytical Psychology
3. Waska, R. (2014). Attention deficit disorder or object detachment disorder. Psychoanalytic Review
101- 367-383.


OBJECTIVES – Four Kinds Of Analytic Listening (3-4 pm)
Enumerate the four types of psychoanalytic listening.
Identify the progenitors of each variety of therapeutic attitude.
Describe the developmental origins of credulous and skeptical listening.
Utilize the enhanced understanding of listening for making better therapeutic interventions.

References for Four Kinds Of Analytic Listening
1. Freud, S (1912).Recommendations to physicians practicing psychoanalysis. Standard Edition 12: 109-
2. Fliess, R. (1942). Metapsychology of the analyst. Psychoanalytic Quarterly 11:211-227.
3. Akhtar, S. (2013). Four kinds of analytic listening. In: Psychoanalytic Listening, pp. 1-24.London:
Karnac Books.
OBJECTIVES – Listening to Silence: Nosological and Therapeutic Considerations
Enhance therapeutic skills in dealing with silences in clinical work.
Enumerate the eight types of silence encountered in clinical work
Differentiate between ‘concurrent’ and ‘mutual’ silences in the therapeutic dyad.

References for Listening to Silence
1. Arlow, J. (1961).Silence and the theory of technique. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic
Association 9: 44-55.

2. Zeligs, M. (1961).The psychology of silence. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 9:7-
3. Akhtar, S. (2013). Listening to silence. In: Psychoanalytic Listening, pp.43-56.London: Karnac Books.


Some Scholarships available for trainees.
Please contact Keyhill Sheorn, M.D. (Treasurer, VPsaS) at
About Dr. Akhtar
Salman Akhtar, MD, DLFAPA is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a Training
and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.
His lengthy CV includes:
• Editorial board of the
International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
Psychoanalytic Quarterly
• Over 300 publications
• Over 90 books
• Solo-authored books:
Broken Structures (1992)
Quest for Answers (1995)
Inner Torment (1999)
Immigration and Identity (1999)
New Clinical Realms (2003)
Objects of Our Desire (2005)
Regarding Others (2007)
Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy (2009)
The Damaged Core (2009)
Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (2009)
Immigration and Acculturation (2011)
Matters of Life and Death (2011)
The Book of Emotions (2012)
Psychoanalytic Listening (2013)
Good Stuff (2013)
Sources of Suffering (2014)
No Holds Barred (2016)
A Web of Sorrow (2017)
Mind, Culture, and Global Unrest (2018)
Silent Virtues (2019)
• His invited lectures including
Plenary Address, 2nd International Congress of the International Society for the Study of Personality
Disorders in Oslo, Norway (1991)

Plenary Paper at the 2nd International Margaret S. Mahler Symposium in Cologne, Germany (1993)
Plenary Paper at the Rencontre Franco-Americaine de Psychanalyse meeting in Paris, France (1994)
• Keynote Address at the 43rd IPA Congress in Rio de Janiero, Brazil (2005)
• Plenary Address at the 150th Freud Birthday Celebration sponsored by the Dutch Psychoanalytic
Society and the Embassy of Austria in Leiden, Holland (2006), the Inaugural Address at the first IPA-
Asia Congress in Beijing, China (2010)
• Plenary Address at the National Meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association (2017)
• Dr. Akhtar’s awards include
American Psychoanalytic Association’s Edith Sabshin Teaching Award (2000)
Columbia University’s Robert Liebert Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychoanalysis
American Psychiatric Association’s Kun Po Soo Award (2004)
Irma Bland Award for Outstanding Teacher of Psychiatric Residents in the country (2005)
Sigourney Award (2012) for distinguished contributions to psychoanalysis
Virginia Psychoanalytic Society Honorary Membership