2016 ORI’s Annual Conference

 Co-sponsored by St. John’s University’s Psychology Department and the Office of Postgraduate Professional Development Programs

Topic: Women's Voices in Psychoanalysis: Erased or Forgotten

Date & time: Saturday, March 19th, 2016 (9:15 am - 4:30 pm)


Presenters: Jeffrey Lewis, PhD and B. William Brennan, ThM, MA, LMHC

Discussant: Eva Papiasvili, PhD, ABPP

Moderator: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NCPsyA, D.Litt

Location: St. John’s University, Manhattan Campus, 101 Astor Place, NYC, 10003

  This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886726323-0) for 6 Social Work (NYS) Continuing Education contact hours. Other professionals - earn 6.0 CE post-graduate education credits in psychoanalytic education.

To register, follow the link HERE.

This full day conference will put a highlight on lives and contributions to psychoanalysis by women who were “erased or forgotten”: Sabina Spielrein, Izette de Forest, Elizabeth Severn, Clara Thompson, Alice Balint, and Enid Balint.

Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.  (George Orwell)

Psychoanalytic theory and practice was originated and advanced by men. To say that psychoanalysis was male-centric would be an understatement. From Freud’s original work to the Wednesday Psychological Society, women had only a faint voice in the early psychoanalytic movement. However, as the 20th century progressed so did the presence of women in psychoanalysis.  Theorist/clinicians such as Anna Freud,  Melanie Klein, Karen Horney, Hanna Segal, Helene Deutsch, Joyce McDougal, to name a few, had begun to make significant  and enduring contributions, garnering their share of notoriety, respect and recognition, challenging the male dominated establishment. 

When we move beyond the women mentioned above, the voices of the early psychoanalytic contributors become even more remote and faint. If one was to ask, “Who was Sabina Spielrein?” – the best answer will be mostly based on Sabina’s story of her time as a patient of Carl Jung, who he treated for  hysteria, who later became infamously known as Carl Jung’s lover.  But her story does not end there; following her time with both Jung and Freud, she too became an analyst, and also an original thinker in this new field.  Very few will know that Sabina Spielrein was the first one who proposed the idea of the duality of instinctual life, represented in the life and death instincts, which was incorporated by Sigmund Freud, and given a credit in his Beyond the Pleasure Principle. It was Sabina who discussed with Melanie Klein her interest in child development and the importance of early oral feeding (sucking), and the mother’s breast; and she was the first female who had presented a psychoanalytic paper for the doctorate degree, and promoted psychoanalytic thought in Russia, adding that she was a pioneer in the treatment of children in a “psychoanalytic nursery”, until Stalin banned psychoanalysis all together.

Similarly, if one is asked about Izette de Forest, Elizabeth Severn, or even Clara Thompson (who was considered to be Ferenczi’s American protégé) – it will usually take a “Ferenzian” to tell you that – besides being “Ett.,” “R.N.,” and “Dm.” in Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary – these women had contributed significantly to Ferenczi’s revolutionary clinical armamentarium of "relaxation", "elastic",  and "active" techniques, as well as his “mutual analysis” therapeutic experiment; and increased empathy in working with trauma, something that prior psychoanalytic tradition did not consider to prioritize, but what is on the top of the list in the context of the contemporary psychoanalytic thinking worldwide.

This conference aims to reach further into the historical record and bring long overdue recognition to the incredibly influential female voices in the formative phase of psychoanalysis, much of whom were discarded, marginalized, or forgotten (perhaps repressed) from the narrative of the psychoanalytic movement.   Our distinguished speakers will include: Jeffrey Lewis, PhD (representing the voice of Sabina Spielrein); B. William Brennan, ThM, MA, LMHC (representing the voices of “Ferenczi’s women,” Izette de Forest, Elizabeth Severn, and Clara Thompson); and Eva Papiasvili, PhD, ABPP (our discussant, who also will bring to light the contributions to psychoanalysis of two wives of Michael Balint, Alice and Enid Balint). We will dedicate a significant part of this conference to the panel discussion and to questions and answers between the presenters and the attendees. Let their voices be heard!

During the lunch break, we are planning another educational activity, related to ORI Academic Press book signing event. Further information is below (this activity is awarded 1 CE hour/ credit).

Educational Objectives of this conference:

To examine and discuss a biographical overview of the life and work of Sabina Spielrein and her contributions to psychoanalytic theory (death/ destruction instinct as the main force of “coming into being,” “collective unconscious,” as well as the importance of sucking and the perception of the mother’s breast in child’s development).

To examine and discuss a biographical overview of the life and work of Izette de Forest and Ferenczi’s “active technique” phase.

To contrast the differences between Clara Thompson’s and Elizabeth Severn’s experience of their analysis during Ferenczi’s “relaxation technique.”

To assess theoretical and clinical utility of early relational psychodynamic work of Alice Balint and Enid Balint, the two wives of Michael Balint.

To discuss the contributions of “erased and forgotten” female voices in psychoanalysis, especially in cases of traumatized patients.

To explore the political, social and cultural factors which have contributed to the voices of the early women psychoanalysts being lost or erased.

To explore and discuss the importance of trans-disciplinary and "lay people" contributions to clinical work.

Learning points:

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

Analyze the contributions of Sabina Spielrein to psychoanalytic theory, which were developed further on by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Melanie Klein: death/ destruction instinct as the main force of “coming into being,” “collective unconscious,” as well as the importance of sucking and the perception of the mother’s breast in child’s development.

Analyze the life and work of Izette de Forest and her contribution to Ferenczi’s “active technique” phase.

Show understanding and contrast the differences between Clara Thompson’s and Elizabeth Severn’s experience of their analysis during Ferenczi’s “relaxation technique.”

Compare theoretical and clinical contributions of female analysts trained by Sandor Ferenczi and Carl Jung.

Assess theoretical and clinical utility of early relational psychodynamic work of Alice Balint and Enid Balint, the two wives of Michael Balint.

Discuss and analyze the contributions of “erased and forgotten” female voices in psychoanalysis, especially in cases of traumatized patients.

Discuss examples of clinical utilization of modified versions of “active technique” and “elastic technique,” and identify the diagnostic need for such technical alterations, especially in cases of traumatized patients.

Discuss the political, social and cultural factors which have contributed to the voices of the early women psychoanalysts being lost or erased.

Discuss examples of contributions to psychoanalysis and to mental health care by "lay people" voices.

Analyze the importance of bottom-up approach in understanding deep psychoanalytic concepts of Oedipal phenomena, empathy, vicarious trauma.

Bios of the Presenters:

Jeffrey Lewis, PhD is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice for 30 years. He is a Ferenczi scholar, a reviewer for the American Journal of Psychoanalysis, and the faculty & Board of Directors member of the Object Relations Institute, as well as he had served as the Graduate Clinical Psychology Program faculty member at St. John’s University, for 25 years.

B. William Brennan ThM, MA, LMHC, is a psychoanalyst in independent practice in Providence, Rhode Island. He is a graduate of the National Training Program of the National Institute of the Psychotherapies and is the Co-chair of the History of Psychoanalysis Committee of the International Forum of Psychoanalytic Education. As a psychoanalytic historian he has written on the identities of the patients in Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary, including Izette de Forest and Clara Thompson.

Eva D. Papiasvili, Ph.D., ABPP  has been a Supervisor in the Doctoral program of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University in New York, for the past 30 years. She is the past Executive Director and Dean of the Institute of the Postgraduate Psychoanalytic Society where she has been a Training and Supervising Analyst since 1996; Teaching and Supervising Faculty, Object Relations Institute; Founder and Chair of the Psychoanalysis, Art and Creativity, www.psychartcreativity.org, an Affiliate of the International Association for the Arts and Psychology; Editorial Board member of the International Journal for Group Psychotherapy; a Guest Editor and Reader for the International Forum for Psychoanalysis and for the Psychoanalytic Inquiry. In 2014, she has been appointed a Co-Chair for North America of the IPA Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis Task Force.

Conference schedule:

09:15 – 10:00 am – Registration; coffee & breakfast

10:00 – 10:15 am – Introduction (Susan Kavaler-Adler, Phd, ABPP)

10:15 – 11:30 am – Sabina Spielrein (Jeff Lewis, PhD)

11:30 – 11:40 am – Short break

11:40 – 12:50 pm – Elizabeth Severn, Izette Forest, and Clara Thompson (Willim B. Brennan, ThM, MA, LMHC).

12:50 – 02:00pm – Lunch/ Book signing event of the ORI Academic Press - see information below.

02:00 – 03:15 pm – Alice and Enid Balint, and overall Discussion (Eva Papiasvili, PhD, ABPP)

03:15 – 03:30 pm – Short break

03:30 – 04:30 pm – Q&A - Panel

Information about the lunch break event, 01:00 - 2:15 pm:

Book signing @ ORI Academic Press

  The Root Is Bitter, The Root Is Sweet: In the Shadow of Madness, A Memoir – by Dolores Brendon

  Oedipal Paradigms in Collision: An Emendation of a Piece of Freudian Canon – by Dr. Howard H. Covitz

DON'T MISS: Sandra Indig's art work, entitled IMAGES OF WOMEN ! The following paintings will be included in this exhibition:

Jewels - series of three, acrylic on canvas, 48”x 42”

         a. Blue Sapphire, b. Red Ruby, c. Green Emerald

Conjurerer, acrylic on archival paper, 3-“x24”

Restraint, acrylic on archival paper, 24”x19”

Release, acrylic on archival paper, 24”x19”

For more information on the artist and her work: www.sindig.com

Fees and Registration:

____ Early Bird registration (before January 30th, 2016) - $95 regular/ $45 students

____ Pre-registration discount (January 30th – February 28th, 2016) - $105 regular/ $55 students

____ Registration after February 28th, 2016 - $125 regular/ $75 students

____ Registration at the door - $135 regular/ $85 students

Special scholarships for undergraduate/graduate students, retired SW practitioners, as well as for group registration, are available. Inquire by email to Admin@ORINYC.org or at 646-522-1056.

To register: E-mail: admin@orinyc.org  or Fax your request @ (718) 785-3270;  Call 646-522-1056 (ORI administrator). Or, please, send your registration forms and payment (checks and money orders only) to: ORI Administrator; 75-15 187 Street; Fresh Meadows, NY, 11366-1725. Cash is only accepted at the door. Credit cards / PayPal payments are accepted - see below.


Certificates for post-graduate training in psychoanalysis and/or psychoanalytic psychotherapy (6.0 hrs) will be available, as per request. Please request them at the time of registration. FYI: Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis is chartered by NYS Department of Education to provide post-graduate training in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Credits for post-graduate educational activities issued by the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis are accepted by most of professional licensing institutions through USA and overseas. However, some specific continuing/ post-graduate education requirements can be determined by various licensing boards, and if you are planning to use the credits for your license renewal, please check with your licensing board.

Re: CEU certificates for NYS Social Workers: This activity is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for 6.0 contact Continuing Ed hours for SW in most of the states, incl. NYS.  Approval # 886726323-0.

Conference Chair overseeing this process: Audrey Ashendorf, LCSW, who also serves as ORI Chair of Admissions, as well as member of the Training Committee.

Note for those who are  requesting CEUs for SW:

NASW requires to have the sign-in lists for all parts of the conference that you'd like to claim CEUs for, plus to fill out and hand in the conference evaluation form by the end of the conference (or mail the evaluations - in this case, the certificate will be mailed to you too). Fees for CEU certificates: $20/ certificate for practitioners; $10/ certificate for students.

Cancellation Policy

Refund in full is offered for cancellations made before March 19th, 2016. No refunds for cancellations made on or after March 19th, 2016 (but credit can be applied for any of the workshops offered at ORI in 2016).

You can pay via PayPal (www.paypal.com); our ID/ handle is: adminorinyc@gmail.com). To use the credit card, you also can just follow the link: Paypal.me/ORINYC .

Read more about the women's voices in psychoanalysis on the following web site:

Britain: http://www.psychoanalytikerinnen.de/greatbritain_biographies.html

Russia (incl. Sabina Spielrein): http://www.psychoanalytikerinnen.de/russland_biografien.html

The Soul Keeper (the movie)

In 1905 a nineteen-year-old girl is admitted into a psychiatric hospital in Zurich where she has arrived from Russia in a desperate condition. The girl is suffering from a severe form of hysteria and refuses to eat. A young doctor, Carl Gustav Jung, takes her under his care and, for the first time ever, experiments with the psychoanalytical method of his teacher, Sigmund Freud. Jung also begins an affair with his patient and thus is born a sweeping story of love and passion. Sabina Spielrein eventually becomes a psychoanalyst herself, founding the famous White School, and dies in 1942, a victim of Nazi violence. The investigation of this dramatized story is taken up by Marie, a young French scholar, and Fraser, a historian from Glasgow, as they follow Sabina's life from Zurich to Moscow to Rostov, leading to the discovery in 1977 of missing portions of the original correspondence in the form of letters between Jung, Freud and Spielrein.

The Soul Keeper 2002 part 1/6 - https://youtu.be/dHwgPS2QHkw

The Soul Keeper 2002 part 2/6 - https://youtu.be/TTzzncVAfzs

The Soul Keeper 2002 part 3/6 - https://youtu.be/PAMPn-NX6Ow

The Soul Keeper 2002 part 4/6 - https://youtu.be/QWY09r0_JrM

The Soul Keeper 2002 part 5/6 - https://youtu.be/occs1hSds-c

The Soul Keeper 2002 part 6/6 - https://youtu.be/zc8a7hRmfYE

Some more readings relevant to this conference topics:

Balint, E. (1993). Before I was I: Psychoanalysis and the imagination. Collected papers. London: Free Association Books.

Balint, E. (n.d.). The girl on the roof, or Listening to strangers (unfinished and unpublished).

Brennan, B. W. (2009). Ferenczi's Forgotten Messenger: The Life and Work of Izette de Forest. American Imago, 66(4), 427-455.

Brennan, B.W. (2015). Out of the archive/ Unto the couch: Clara Thompson’s analysis with Ferenczi. In S. Kuchuck & A. Harris (Eds.), The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi: From Ghost to Ancestor (pp.77-95). New York, NY: Routledge.

Brennan, B.W. (2015). Decoding Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary: Biographical notes. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75, 5-18.

DiAmbrosio, P.E. (2014). Patient and analyst in crises: A mutual transformation reflected in a clinical narrative and St. Exupery’s The Little Prince. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self-Psychology, 9(2), 131-143.

Dupont, J. (2002). Excerpts of the correspondence of Michael and Alice Balint with Olga, Ladislas, and Judith Dormandi. American Journal Psychoanalysis, 62(4), 359-81.

Ferenczi, S.; Dupont, J. (Ed.) (1995). The Clinical Diary of Sandor Ferenczi. [Translated by M. Balint & N. Jackson.] Harvard University Press.

Frank, K. A., & Bernstein, K. (2014). Reply to James L. Fosshage: Therapeutic action and self psychology. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 11(1), 7-13.

Kuchuck, S. (2014). Clinical implications of the psychoanalyst’s life experience: When the personal becomes professional. (Relational Perspectives Book Series). New York: Routledge.

McGuire, W. (Ed.) (1974). The Freud/Jung letters: The Correspondence between Sigmund Freud and CG Jung. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Sklar, J. (2012). Regression and new beginnings: Michael, Alice and Enid Balint and the circulation of ideas. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 93(4), 1017-1034. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-8315.2012.00559.x.

Spielrein, S. (1995). Destruction as cause of becoming. Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 18, 85–118.

van Waning, A. (1992). The works of pioneering psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein. International Review of Psychoanalysis, 19, 399–413.

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