NYFS NY Scientific Program – J.Frankel – 3/20

New York Freudian Society – NY Division

Scientific Program

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
8:30 – 10:00 pm
Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Hatch Auditorium
Madison Avenue & 100th Street

Admission is free and no reservations are required.
Free Certification of Attendance forms will be provided.

Psychological enslavement understood through

Ferenczi’s concept of identification with the aggressor:
Clinical and sociopolitical aspects

Jay Frankel, PhD

Identification with the aggressor is a traumatic reaction first identified in 1932 by Sándor Ferenczi, who gave it a somewhat different meaning from Anna Freud’s later idea of becoming like the aggressor. Ferenczi’s conception described a particular way that many victims of abuse or assault respond to the aggressor: they automatically eliminate their own resistance—their authentic perceptions and feelings—and instantly, precisely, and without thinking comply with what the aggressor wants them to be, in both their outer behavior and their inner experience. Assault is often compounded by the implicit threat of emotional abandonment, and even in the presence of extreme trauma this threat may be the most powerful factor enforcing identification. In addition, victims are made to feel that they are somehow to blame for the abuse they receive. This further erodes their felt connection with humanity and the possibility of independent action. The widespread existence of some degree of this traumatic response, even in people who have not suffered extreme trauma, suggests that many apparently minor events can be experienced as traumatic, and that identification with the aggressor plays a large but often silent role in structuring many forms of human interaction. Dr. Frankel will discuss the role of identification with the aggressor in detail, both in development and in the clinical situation. He will also give a sense of the powerful but often hidden role it plays in society on a broader scale.

Jay Frankel, PhD, is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor and Supervisor in the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; a member, on faculty, and Co-Chair of the Ongoing Conferences on Controversial Psychoanalytic Concepts, at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; Associate Editor (and formerly Executive Editor) of Psychoanalytic Dialogues; and author of many journal articles and book chapters on trauma, identification, child therapy, play, the analytic relationship, and the work of Sándor Ferenczi.


At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

1. describe the traumatic reaction of identification with the aggressor, and the ways in which it is triggered by child abuse and other psychological trauma;

2. describe how identification with the aggressor manifests in the clinical situation, and the implications of this for technique.

Who Should Attend:
Mental Health Professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, eg, LP’s, LCAT’s, pastoral counselors), and people with an interest in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic thinking and clinical applications.

APA-approved CE Credits:
Psychologists: The New York Freudian Society is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education programs for psychologists. NYFS maintains responsibility for this program and its content. APA-approved CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance and completed evaluation forms. Attendance is monitored. Credit will not be granted to registrants who arrive late, or depart early. It is the responsibility of participants seeking APA-approved CE credits to comply with the requirements outlined below. Upon completion of these requirements, participants will be given 1.5 CE credits.

Registration Fees:
There is no fee for attending this program.
Basic Certification of Attendance forms will be provided to ATR-BC’s and others at no charge.
The fee for 1.5 APA-approved CE Credits for Members of NYFS and Candidates of the PTI of NYFS is $15, and for all others it is $30. If you would like CE credit, please give your email address to the identified person at the end of the program. An evaluation form will be emailed to you. You will receive a PDF via email of your CE credits upon receipt of a hard copy of the completed evaluation form and your check (written to NYFS).

Important disclosure information:
None of the planners and presenters of this CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Vivian Eskin, PhD, at veskinphd

NYFS-NY Scientific Program Committee
Vivian Eskin, Chair; Ani Buk, Richard DeBenedetto, Susan Light, Kristina MacGaffin, Virginia Shipley

The Psychoanalytic Training Institute of NYFS offers a variety of programs in both New York City and Washington, DC for students interested in adult psychoanalysis, child/adolescent psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and parent-infant treatment. Our NY Adult Psychoanalysis Program is registered as licensure qualifying by the NYSED. All Masters-level professionals are welcome to apply. Please visit instituteofnyfs.org for further information.



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