Love & Hate in Contemporary Clinical Practice: Dr. Lewis Aron and Dr. Galit Atlas

Organization: Toronto institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis
CME Accreditation: Group Learning Activity Section 1

The Enigma of Desire (Galit Atlas)

Galit Atlas discusses the subjects of sex and desire and explores the Enigmatic and the Pragmatic aspects of sexuality, longing, sexual inhibition and creativity. She will present narratives, therapeutic tales which illustrate both the analyst’s and patient’s erotic desires and anxieties, and the ways these interact and emerge in the consulting room.

Fluctuations of Identity and Shifting Self-States: The Dramatic Dialogues of Harold Searles (Lewis Aron)

Lewis Aron will explore therapists’ fluctuations in identity and self-states, and their "dramatization” with patients, including expressions of “hate in the countertransference.” He will focus on the clinical contributions of Harold Searles, an innovative master clinician who was a forerunner of contemporary relational work. Videos of Searles clinical interviews will be used to facilitate discussion.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn to:

1.Explain why contemporary psychoanalysis emphasizes "something more than interpretation."

2.Describe how attending to one’s own fluctuations in identity or self-states can be used clinically.

3.Describe two of the contributions of Harold Searles.

4.Describe two objections to Searles’ clinical approach.

5.Describe two of the complications and ways of managing the erotic transference and countertransference.

6.Describe two implications of infant research for adult treatment.


10a.m. Introduction (Dr. Kobrick)

10 – 11 The Enigma of Desire (Dr. Galit Atlas)

11-12 Discussion with Audience

12 - 2:00 Lunch (on your own)

2:00 – 4:00 Fluctuations of Identity and Shifting Self-States: The Dramatic Dialogues of Harold Searles (Dr. Lewis Aron)

4:00 Closing Remarks (Dr. Kobrick)


Lewis Aron, Ph.D. is the director, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis. Author and editor of numerous articles & books on psychotherapy & psychoanalysis, including A Meeting of Minds, and co-editor of the Relational Perspectives Book Series. He is well known for his study and reading groups around the world.

Galit Atlas, Ph.D. is on the faculty of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and at the Four-Year Adult and National Training Programs at NIP. She is the author of The Enigma of Desire: Sex, Longing and Belonging in Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2015). Her New York Times article “A tale of Two Twins” was the winner of 2016 Gradiva award.


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