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***MARCH MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED***
Virginia Psychoanalytic Society Presents
“A Gathering on Psychodynamic and Analytically-based Couples/Family Therapy”
Jerome S. Blackman, MD, FIPA,
Kathleen Dring, J.D., PsyD, and
Norma J. Caruso, PsyD
Place: Westwood Country Club, 6200 West Club Lane, Richmond, VA 23226
Time: 5:00-6:00 pm Cocktails
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm Presentation
-$49.00, with dinner, if paid by Tuesday March 17, 2020 (12:00 PM);
-$59.00, with dinner if paid after that date
-$20.00 if paid by Tuesday March 17, 2020 (12:00 PM) and requesting CE credits
without dinner, $25.00 if paid after that.
-Auditing (no CE credits) without dinner (no cost).
Some Scholarships available for trainees. Contact Keyhill Sheorn, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
Keyhill Sheorn, MD
1001 Boulders Parkway, Suite 160
Richmond, VA 23225
Sigmund Freud’s first attempt at couple’s therapy with Horace and Doris Frink (Specter, 1987)
was a disaster. His failure can act as a warning to all those who aspire to do this type of work.
The problems are legion, and countertransferences inevitable.
Nevertheless, family and couple’s therapy has been a thriving subspecialty, popularized by
Virginia Satir (1994), Fred Sanders, and others. Especially with the advent of object relations
therapy, concepts of working with couples have expanded.
Questions to be addressed in the gathering include 1) when couple’s therapy is indicated, 2)
when couple’s therapy is indicated as an adjunct to individual treatment, and 3) when couple’s
therapy must be indicated with individual treatment for each person in the couple 4) a discussion
of the importance of addressing sexual dysfunction in couples.
There has also been controversy regarding whether a therapist could see a couple if that same
therapist is treating the other member of the couple, or both members.
Also, in family therapy, can one therapist treat several children in the same family
simultaneously, and even see them separately from their parents, or should the entire family be
treated as a unit?
In these situations, interpersonal dynamics, scapegoating, projective identification, transferences
to different members of the family from parents and ancestors, and other dynamics may be
findable, but how to go about providing insight, especially in families with different aged
In this gathering, the floor is open to discussion of these different issues, both the pros and cons,
from a psychoanalytic standpoint. What sort of defenses, affects, and resistances must be
noticed, what sort of object relations difficulties are noted, what type of self states are indicated
and how are these changed during treatment, and what transferences can be elucidated?
Further, what interpersonal mechanisms may be at work, such as mutual provocation, mutual
identification, defenses against symbiotic fusion, and provocation of punishment?
Dr. Dring will present some concepts from couples work to start things off, and Dr. Blackman
will add some of his experience in doing work with one parent and one child at a time, during
the psychotherapy of an adolescent. We’ll also add some material regarding treatment of
children while the mother sits in the room. Dr. Caruso, a licensed clinical psychologist and
certified sex therapist, will cite changes within psychoanalytic thinking and practice, as well as
other developments, that may have contributed to this shift. She will address sexual dysfunction
in couple relationships.
Then the floor is open. Come join us!
We will address the following questions and those generated by the audience’s discussion:
1. When to recommend couples or family therapy; in other words, when is this indicated?
2. Should couple’s therapy always be done in conjunction with individual therapy?
3. Should different therapists be offered for different members of the family, or can one
therapist treat them all?
4. Is there any benefit in treating single people who are couples, or should this be avoided?
5. What types of countertransferences occur, and how can the therapist utilize the reactions?
6. Which theories are most appropriate in couples: conflict theory, ego psychology, object
relations, self-psychology, interpersonal theory, relational theory, systems theory?
7. Participants will be asked to offer their thoughts on the role of psychoanalysts and
psychoanalytically oriented therapists in treating sexual dysfunctions in couples and individuals.