The Shame of the Father: The Paternal Principle, the Patriarchy and the Subjective Experience of the Father

Date: October 13, 2017

Details: White Society Colloquium, New York, NY

Freud’s paternal principle is an unconscious presence that functions independent of the actual person of the father of childhood. As the third to the mother-infant dyad, this paternal function is of singular importance, while simultaneously placing the subjective experience of the father in the muted position of being an absent authority. As the paternal principle suggests, the father is largely a transference phenomenon enacted by the child to imbue the person of the father with his power, rendering him paradoxically in a vulnerable position. Furthermore, his power, dependent on the perception of the child, is often eventually attributed to others. Despite a patriarchy in decline, the patriarch of the father’s own childhood remains as a paternal bastion holding men accountable to this archaic ideal, while no longer being perceived as powerful by his children and without the support of the patriarchal systems of the past. The paternal principle has direct implications for the treatment setting modeled on developmental theories of the mother-infant relationship.


From Stonewall to Scruff: Four Generations of Gay Analysts Take On Modern Gay Sexuality

Date: April 28, 2017


Norms around gay sexuality have evolved since Stonewall, and psychoanalysts of different generations experience these developments differently. For this panel, case material involving modern themes will be presented, and four gay psychoanalysts, ranging from a senior training analyst to a pre-doctoral intern, will explore their personal and clinical responses. 


Queering PsychoanalysisWorking with Modern-Day Sexuality and Gender

Date: October 22, 2016

Details: William Alanson White Institute, New York, NY

Presenting a paper that explores the application of key concepts of Queer Theory and Laplanche in work with cis-gendered and heterosexual patients. As societally imposed gender and sexual narratives encourage us to split-off irreconcilable self-experiences, they become manifest in the form of enigmatic messages. Learning to appreciate the complexity of our gendered and sexual self-experiences and identifications allows us to minimize splitting and appreciate the full-breath of our complexity. 


Knowing Me, K(no)wing You: Identification, Dis-identification and Embeddedness in the Wake of the Orlando Massacre

Date: August 11, 2016

Details: Joint International Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland

There is a knowing that is inclusive that we intuit. It is outside of the realm of intellectual understanding and the politics of identification, Wilner refers to it as being embedded in the immediate psychological context. It is the knowing of emersion of giving ourselves over to unbidden experience with the other, allowing ourselves to be effected on a deeply emotional level. 


A Detailed Inqueery: In-sight of the Queering Gaze (Gays) 

Date: May 4, 2016 8:30 pm

Details: William Alanson White Institute, NY, NY

Dr. David Braucher, L.C.S.W., Ph.D., will explore how some key concepts from Laplanche and Queer Theory contribute to the interpersonal tradition of the detailed inquiry. These theories are applied to the analysis of an ostensibly heterosexual, cis-gendered, female patient anxious to achieve the hetero-normative goals of having a monogamous marriage and children conceived through intercourse. The concept of 'queering' implies the acceptance of the ubiquitous participation of the analyst’s subjectivity, while also appreciating how this particular gaze can liberate the patient from societally-imposed narratives alienating her from her incompatible self-experiences. Dr. Braucher argues that the alienation of our queer self-experiences does not facilitate but rather interferes with hetero-normative pursuits. Irreconcilable self-experiences in this case are misrecognized as doubt regarding the choice of a mate rather than appreciated as evidence of a more complex nonconforming series of self-experiences and identifications.


Dr. Strangelove Or: How I learned to Stop Trying to Help and Love the Frame

Date: December 9, 2014

Details: William Alanson White Institute, NY, NY

Clinical Presentation of the First Two Years of an Analysis


Passion (or Past-shunned): The Use of Fantasy to Recreate Past Loving and Sexual Self-Experiences in the Present. 

Date: July 4, 2014

Details: International Joint Conference, Florence, Italy

Despite the common belief that we must be devoted to our lover with a single-minded passion, thinking only of them, we are an accumulation of self-experiences with multiple loves both romantic and platonic. All of our past loving/sexual experiences are part of us and are present to varying degrees when we love.

This paper will discuss case examples illustrating how patients use fantasies of past loving and sexual experiences to access their loving and sexual selves in the present.

The past experience with the other is the symbol for the experience of self. The true goal of the fantasy, the symbolized, is the activation of their loving or sexual selves. It is a transitional phenomenon in that it uses a memory of an object in fantasy; the object from a real world experience is used to engage the self’s creative capacity to recreate past self-experiences. These fantasies create questions regarding some common taboos about relationships. Patients often understand the fantasies discussed above as indicating that they have not adequately mourned a past love, leading to feelings of shame, guilt and confusion. They may also feel they are being unfaithful if they use memories of a past lover to access our sexual self with a present lover. The recreation of these relationships in fantasy has implications for the interpersonal relationship of an analysis. Self-experiences that emerge in the crucible of a mutually loving analytic relationship become memories of self-experience that may be recreated for use outside the consulting room. This is one crucial way that the analytic relationship contributes to an ever-expanding sense of self.