Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 – 6:30-8:30 PM 
Location: Robert Morris University, 401 St. State, 8th floor auditorium (Take elevator to 8th floor and look for Room 803)

Presented in collaboration with the Institute for Clinical Social Work (ICSW)

The Forward Edge of Resistance:  Toward the Dignity of Human Agency

  Presenter: Peter Shabad, PhD
Discussant: Linda L. Emanuel, MD, PhD

Psychoanalysts have traditionally viewed the patient’s resistance as an obstacle to treatment progress. In this presentation, Peter Shabad instead views resistance as the patient’s attempt to express his/her agency and dignity as a human subject. Since the patient often feels stymied by a fatalistic inertia in living his/her life, the patient’s resistance as an “I Won’t,” instead of a fatalistic “I Can’t,” provides a pathway for the analyst to respect the patient’s resistance as a manifestation of the patient’s need for self-determination. Peter has written numerous articles about how shame paralyzes agency and leads to the despairing fatalism of being an object at the mercy of external moral authority. This presentation is designed to offer an alternative way of understanding and respecting the patient’s powerful need for the dignity of self-determination. Peter will include a clinical vignette to illustrate his approach.

Peter Shabad, PhD is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern University’s medical school. He is also on the Teaching and Supervisory Faculty of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and on the Core Faculty of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP). Peter is co-editor of The Problem of Loss and Mourning: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (IUP, 1989), and he wrote Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy (Aronson, 2001). He is currently working on a new book entitled Seizing The Vital Moment: Passion, Shame, and Mourning, to be published Routledge. He has written numerous papers and book chapters on diverse topics such as the psychological implications of death, loss and mourning, giving and receiving, shame, human agency, parental envy, resentment, spite, and regret. Dr. Shabad has a private practice in Chicago in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy.

Linda L. Emanual MD, PhD, is a faculty member at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and a Member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. A Professor Emerita of Medicine at Northwestern University’s medical school, she was formerly Director of the Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society at the medical school. Her focus as a psychoanalyst is on how people cope with mortality.

Learning Objectives:  After attending this session, participants should be able to:

1) describe how the therapist’s role of providing help influences a power asymmetry of subject and object in the treatment relationship;

2) describe how resistance becomes the patient’s way of expressing his/her agency as a human subject.

Admission is free. CEs are available only to Society members. Interested in becoming a member? Click here.