The Analyst’s Vulnerability: Personal, Clinical, Ethical

The Analyst’s Vulnerability: Personal, Clinical, Ethical

Presenter: Ellen Pinsky, PsyD
Discussant: Lisa Carbone, MD

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 8 PM

Location: Columbia University Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive
(enter via 116th St. click here for directions)
or via Zoom

This presentation will address our speaker’s personal experience of the sudden death of her analyst. Dr. Ellen Pinsky links that stunning loss to a subject long neglected—a striking fact that led her to wonder why the analyst’s mortality is so particularly avoided in our profession. In her words:

“I found it challenging to answer the questions: What, or whom, exactly, had I lost? What had I been given? Central to those questions on a more theoretical level has been the double meaning of “mortal”: The analyst is vulnerable (he or she can die) and also fallible (he or she can err). The analyst’s mortality underlies the work, at every moment—a robot or angel can’t do it. That same human nature, therapeutically powerful, also carries the potential for destruction. Thus, I was led to consider the issue of unethical behavior across a range, from mis-steps, to crimes.”

Ellen Pinsky, PsyD, is the author of Death and Fallibility in the Psychoanalytic Encounter: Mortal Gifts (Routledge, 2017). Dr. Pinsky came to psychoanalysis as a second profession following 25 years as a middle school English teacher. She is on the faculty at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Her articles and reviews have appeared in a variety of journals including The Psychoanalytic QuarterlyJAPA and American Imago. In 2014 she was awarded BPSI’s Deutsch Prize for her essay “The Olympian Delusion.”

Lisa Carbone, MD, is the Director of the Cancer Wellness Psychiatry Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Member at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

This evening is chiefly an in person event though there will also be a hybrid option.

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