Weekend Core: Intersubjective Systems Theory

WEEKEND PROGRAM

Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis – 2019-2020

Intersubjective-systems Theory: A Phenomenological Contextualist Perspective

OR

Phenomenology, Context and Intersubjectivity

OR

Emotional Phenomenology

Instructors:  Leonard Bearne, PsyD, MFT and David Schreiber, PsyD, MFT

Dates and Times: 11:30am – 2:00pm.  9/20/19, 9/22/19, 11/1/19, 11/3/19, 12/6/19, 12/8/19, 1/24/20, 1/26/20, 3/27/2020, 3/29/2020, 5/1/2020, 5/3/2020

Total hours of instruction: 12 x 2.5 = 30 hours

Contact:  ldbearne@earthlink.net  &  dwschreiber@yahoo.com

SYLLABUS

I. Course Description:

Phenomenological Contextualism (formerly Intersubjective Systems Theory) developed by Stolorow, Atwood, and their collaborators, has evolved over the past 35 years into both a philosophically based understanding of the psychoanalytic process and a reconsideration of all the major themes in psychoanalytic treatment, such as unconsciousness, transference, embodiment, psychoanalytic action and affective experience. 

In this course we will explore the theory itself and consider the practical implications for treatment of the concepts presented. Candidates will develop an ability to think in terms of the philosophical underpinnings of the theory and also be able to apply these ideas in specific, practical ways to the treatment process.

II. Course Objectives:

1) Define what is meant by phenomenological contextualism.

2) Compare the concepts of phenomenological contextualism and intersubjective systems.

3) Describe transference from the perspective of phenomenological contextualism.

4) Describe unconsciousness from the perspective of phenomenological contextualism and contrast it to the idea of “the unconscious”.

5) Contrast the phenomenological contextualist viewpoint and the Relational viewpoint.

III. Specific Class Objectives:


Class 1:
1.  Students will describe the foundational theories leading to the development of Intersubjective-systems Theory.
2.  Students will describe the wider history of psychoanalysis which gave birth to Intersubjective-systems Theory.

Class 2:
1.  Students will explain the unique qualities of a phenomenological contextualist definition of transference.
2.  Students will apply a phenomenological contextualist perspective of transference to specific clinical material.

Class 3:
1.  Students will cite specific characteristics of psychological development from a phenomenological contextualist perspective.
2.  Students will compare and contrast contemporary notions of psychological development with more classical notions.

Class 4:
1.  Students will cite specific characteristics of psychopathology from a phenomenological contextualist perspective.
2. Students will compare and contrast contemporary notions of psychopathology with more classical notions.

Class 5:
1.  Students will describe emotions and emotional states from an Intersubjective-systems Theory and phenomenological perspective.
2.  Students will apply their understanding of emotional states from an Intersubjective-systems Theory and phenomenological perspective to relevant clinical material.

Class 6:
1.  Students will describe specific aspects of the clinical situation (eg: therapeutic alliances, impasses, interpretations) from within the context of phenomenological contextualism.
2.  Students will apply their understanding of the clinical situation from a phenomenological contextualism perspective to relevant clinical material.

Class 7:
1.  Students will cite specific representations of the unconscious from a phenomenological contextualist perspective.
2. Students will compare and contrast contemporary notions of the unconscious with more classical notions.

Class 8:
1.  Students will describe some of the philosophical underpinnings of phenomenological contextualism and Intersubjective-systems Theory.
2.  Students will demonstrate their understanding of how the philosophical underpinnings of phenomenological contextualism and Intersubjective-systems Theory can be applied directly to the clinical situation.

Class 9:
1.  Students will describe emotional trauma from an Intersubjective-systems Theory and phenomenological perspective.
2.  Students will apply their understanding of emotional trauma from an Intersubjective-systems Theory and phenomenological perspective to relevant clinical material.

Class 10:
1.  Students will describe relationality from a phenomenological and contextual orientation.
2.  Students will apply an understanding of relationality from a phenomenological and contextual orientation to relevant clinical material.

Class 11:
1.  Students will compare and contrast Relational and Self Psychology perspectives with a phenomenological contextualist approach to psychoanalysis.
2.  Students will analyze the process of divergence of Relational and Intersubjective-systems Theory schools of thought over the past few decades.

Class 12:
1.  Students will discuss the gradual transformation of Intersubjective-systems Theory over the past three decades to what is now called Phenomenological Contextualism.
2.  Students will analyze their ability to apply concepts learned throughout this course to their clinical work.

IV. Recommended book purchases:


1.  Robert Stolorow: Trauma and Human Existence
2.  Stolorow, Brandchaft & Atwood: Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach
3.  Orange, Atwood & Stolorow: Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice

V. Final paper:

A paper of 5-7 pages in length will be due sometime in the latter half of the academic year (Week 4 or Week 5).  We will discuss the best timing for the due date for this assignment, keeping in mind your other writing obligations (control case reports, writing assignments from other classes, etc.).  This paper should utilize clinical material to demonstrate your understanding of some of the concepts of Intersubjective-systems theory and phenomenological contextualism learned up to that point in the course.  This does not have to be a formal paper following APA guidelines, although it may be useful for you to write in this style if you haven’t done so yet.  We can provide examples from previous students if needed, to help guide you as you think about and write your paper.

WEEKEND 1

Friday, September 20th: Foundations

Readings:

Orange, Atwood & Stolorow (1997).  Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice, Chapter 1: Intersubjectivity Theory and the Clinical Exchange (pp. 3-18).

Orange, Atwood & Stolorow  (1997).  Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice – Chapter 5: Thinking and Working Contextually (pp. 67-90).

Stolorow (2011).  From Mind to World, From Drive to Affectivity: A Phenomenological-Contextualist Psychoanalytic Perspective.  Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 5(1):1-14.

Additional Recommended Readings:

Stolorow, Atwood & Brandchaft (1994).  The Intersubjective Perspective – Chapter 2: Toward a Science of Human Experience (Stolorow & Atwood) (pp. 15-30).

Sunday, September 22nd: Transference from an Intersubjective Perspective

Readings:

Atwood & Stolorow (1984).  Structures of Subjectivity, Chapter 2: The Therapeutic Situation (pp. 47-55 only).

Stolorow, Brandchaft & Atwood (1987).  Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach – Chapter 3: Transference: The Organization of Experience (pp. 28-46).

Stolorow, Atwood & Brandchaft (1994).  The Intersubjective Perspective – Chapter 13: Countertransference, Empathy and the Hermeneutical Circle (Orange) (pp. 177-186).

Orange, Atwood & Stolorow (1997).  Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice, Chapter 3: The Myth of Neutrality (pp. 35-44).

Orange & Stolorow (1998).  Self-Disclosure from the Perspective of Intersubjectivity Theory.  Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 18: 530-537.

Additional Recommended Readings:

Gill, Merton. Psychoanalysis in Transition, 1994, The Analytic Press, Hillsdale, NJ. pp. 101-106. Greenson, R., The Technique and Practice of Psychoanalysis, Vol 1, 1967, International Universities Press. pp.151-155.

WEEKEND 2

Friday, November 1st: Psychological Development & Psychopathology

Readings:

Atwood & Stolorow (1984).  Structures of Subjectivity, Chapter 3: Development and Pathogenesis (pp. 65-79 only).

Stolorow, Brandchaft & Atwood (1987).  Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach, Chapter 6: Developmental Failure and Psychic Conflict (pp. 88-99).

Stolorow, Brandchaft & Atwood (1987).  Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach – Chapter 4: Bonds That Shackle, Ties That Free (pp. 47-65).

Brandchaft (2007).  Systems of Pathological Accommodation and Change in Psychoanalysis.  Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24:667-687.

Stolorow (2012).  Deconstructing Psychiatry’s Ever-Expanding Bible.  Psychology Today blog post.

Sunday, November 3rd: Psychological Development & Psychopathology (cont.)

Readings:

Atwood & Stolorow (1984).  Structures of Subjectivity, Chapter 2: The Therapeutic Situation-Psychopathology (pp. 55-59 only).

Atwood & Stolorow (1984).  Structures of Subjectivity, Chapter 4: Pathways of Concretization (pp. 85-117).

Stolorow, Brandchaft & Atwood (1987).  Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach – Chapter 8: Treatment of Borderline States (pp. 106-131).

Stolorow & Atwood (1992).  Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life, Chapter 4: Trauma and Pathogenesis (pp. 51-59).

Additional Recommended Readings:

Stolorow, Atwood & Brandchaft (1988).  Symbols of Subjective Truth in Psychotic States: Implications for Psychoanalytic Treatment.  Progress in Self Psychology 3:103-142.

Stolorow, Atwood & Orange (2002).  Worlds of Experience: Interweaving Philosophical and Clinical Dimensions in Psychoanalysis, Chapter 8: Shattered Worlds/Psychotic States: The Experience of Personal Annihilation (pp. 139-175).

WEEKEND 3

Friday, December 6th: The Phenomenology of Emotional States

Readings:

Stolorow, Brandchaft & Atwood, (1987).  Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach, Chapter 5: Affects and Selfobjects (pp. 66-87).

Orange, Atwood, & Stolorow (1997).  Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice, Chapter 4: Contexts of Nonbeing: Varieties of the Experience of Personal Annihilation (pp. 45-66).

Stolorow (2019). Emotional Phenomenology and Relationality: Forever the Twain Shall Meet.  Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 39:2, 123-126.

Sunday, December 8th: The Clinical Situation

Readings:

Stolorow & Atwood (1992).  Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life, Chapter 6: Varieties of Therapeutic Alliance and Chapter 7: Varieties of Therapeutic Impasse, (pp. 87-122).

Stolorow (1994).  The Intersubjective Perspective, Chapter 4: The Nature and Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalytic Interpretation (eds: Stolorow, Atwood & Brandchaft), (pp. 43-55).

Orange, Atwood, & Stolorow (1997).  Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice, Chapter 2: Beyond Technique (pp. 19-34).

Additional Recommended Readings:

Brandchaft (1993).  To Free the Spirit from its Cell.  Progress in Self Psychology, 9:209-230.

Brandchaft & Stolorow (1994).  The Intersubjective Perspective, Chapter 7: The Difficult Patient, (eds: Stolorow, Atwood & Brandchaft), (pp. 93-112).

Stolorow (1994).  The Intersubjective Perspective, Chapter 11: Converting Psychotherapy to Psychoanalysis (eds: Stolorow, Atwood & Brandchaft), (pp. 145-154).

WEEKEND 4

Friday, January 24th: Forms of Unconsciousness

Readings:

Stolorow & Atwood (1992).  Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life, Chapter 2: Three Realms of the Unconscious (pp. 29-40).

Stolorow, Orange & Atwood (2001).  World Horizons: A Post-Cartesian Alternative to the Freudian Unconscious, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 37:1 (43-61).

Stolorow (2006).  The Relevance of Freud’s Concept of Danger-Situation for an Intersubjective Systems Perspective, Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23:2, 417-419.

Stolorow (2007).  Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections, Chapter 5: Trauma and the “Ontological Unconscious” (pp. 23-31).

Sunday, January 26th: Philosophical Underpinnings

Readings:

Atwood & Stolorow (1984).  Structures of Subjectivity, Chapter 1: Philosophical Context and Basic Concepts (pp. 1-30 only).

Stolorow (2007).  Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections, Chapter 6: Anxiety, Authenticity, and Trauma (pp. 34-46).

WEEKEND 5

Friday, March 27th: The Phenomenology of Emotional Trauma

Readings:

Stolorow (2007).  Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections, Chapters 1-4, and Chapter 7 (pp. 1-21, 48-51).

Atwood (2012).  The Abyss of Madness, Chapter 5: The Unbearable and the Unsayable (pp. 107-132).

Stolorow (2015).  A Phenomenological-Contextual, Existential, and Ethical Perspective on Emotional Trauma, The Psychoanalytic Review, 102(1): 123-138.

Sunday, March 29th: Relationality and Phenomenology

Readings:

Stolorow & Atwood (1992).  Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life, Chapter 1: The Myth of the Isolated Mind (pp. 7-28).

Orange, Atwood & Stolorow (1997).  Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice, Chapter 4: Contexts of Nonbeing (pp. 45-66).

Stolorow & Atwood (2019).  The Power of Phenomenology: Psychoanalytic and Philosophical Perspectives, Chapter 10: Walking the Tightrope of Emotional Dwelling (pp. 113-126).

WEEKEND 6

Friday, May 1st: Comparison with Relational and Self Psychology Perspectives

Readings:

Shane (2015).  Multiplicity and Unity Within Relational Psychoanalysis: Convergences, Controversies, and Creative Tensions.  Opening Panel Address, Toronto, 2015. 

Magid & Shane (2017).  Relational Self Psychology.  Psychoanalysis, Self and Context, 12(1):3-19.

Stolorow, Atwood & Orange (2002).  Worlds of Experience: Interweaving Philosophical and Clinical Dimensions in Psychoanalysis, Chapter 5: Cartesian trends in Psychoanalysis (pp. 77-97).

Sunday, May 3rd: Review

Readings:

Atwood & Stolorow (2014).  Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism, 2nd Ed., Chapter 6: Legacies of the Golden Age: A Memoir of a Collaboration (17 pgs.).

Stolorow & Atwood (2019).  The Power of Phenomenology: Psychoanalytic and Philosophical Perspectives, Chapter 4: CREDO-Intersubjective-systems theory: A phenomenological-contextualist perspective (pp. 57-69).

Stolorow & Atwood (2019).  The Power of Phenomenology: Psychoanalytic and Philosophical Perspectives, Chapter 12: Concluding dialogue (pp. 127-130).