“Everything is an Emergency”: An OCD Story in Words and Pictures

January 5, 2021 (Joint event with the Columbia Public Outreach Committee)

“Everything is an Emergency”: An OCD Story in Words and Pictures

Presenter: Jason Katzenstein

Jason Katzenstein is a New Yorker cartoonist who has written a graphic autobiography about his
lifelong struggle with OCD and his compelling cartoons will provide a visual compendium of his
psycho-dynamically complex mental landscape.

On Denial: Internal, Relational, Social and Political Functions

December 1, 2020

On Denial: Internal, Relational, Social and Political Functions

Presenter: Nancy McWilliams PhD

Discussant: TBD

Denial will be conceptualized as a dissociative phenomenon whose evolutionarily adaptive
functions include initiating and facilitating the human capacity for mourning. After a short overview
of the psychoanalytic concept of denial, from Freud’s thinking through contemporary contributions
of attachment research and neuroscience, Dr. McWilliams will speculate on the relationship of
denial to mourning on both individual and societal levels. Some clinical, social, and political
manifestations of denial will be noted, along with some possible ways of addressing this primitive
but ubiquitous defense.

On the Psychoanalytic Legacy of John Bowlby: Attachment Theory, Reflective Functioning and Therapeutic Action

November 10, 2020

On the Psychoanalytic Legacy of John Bowlby: Attachment Theory, Reflective Functioning and Therapeutic Action

Presenter: Miraim Steele PhD

Discussant: Diana Diamond PhD

Dr. Miriam Steele will speak on the legacy of Dr. John Bowlby and the psychoanalytic
roots of attachment theory which have initiated a corpus of work in developmental and
clinical psychology . Trained in England, Dr. Steele knew and worked with Bowlby during
his lifetime and can be considered one of his direct successors. The talk will elaborate on
the legacy of John Bowlby’s writings and focus on the psychoanalytic roots of
attachment theory which have initiated a corpus of empirical work in developmental and
clinical psychology.  This presentation will outline the concept of reflective functioning,
covering its origins in attachment theory and intergenerational longitudinal research and
highlight the clinical relevance of the concept, as a therapeutic goal, especially with
respect to patients with backgrounds of trauma.

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