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"Melancholia and Mourning in the Countertransference”

Understanding Primitive Mental States Presents Priscilla Roth

Friday evening, October 30, 2015


“Mourning and Melancholia” is a psychoanalytic treasure that changed the way psychoanalysts think.  Though written as one of the metapsychological papers, it is profoundly concerned with emotions.  In his insistence that the mind is not unitary, Freud introduced the conceptualization of an internal world in which there are different and separate parts of the self and different internalized love objects all relating to each other in complex ways and he introduced the idea that the quality of these relations between parts of our self and our internalized love objects is what defines our moods, our sense of well-being and, indeed, our character.

In her paper, Priscilla Roth describes the ways these complex relationships play out and can be observed within the analytic situation..  The paper illustrates with detailed clinical material the way in which a melancholic solution powerfully presents itself as the only possible alternative for dealing with an object loss experienced as intolerable. 

Priscilla Roth is a Training Analyst and Supervisor of the British Psychoanalytical Society.  She has been a Principal Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavisotck Institute, London and a lecturer in psychoanalytic theory at University College, London.  She has taught extensively in Britain, Europe and the United States and is the author of a number of psychoanalytic papers and the editor of a number of books, most recently "Envy and Gratitude Re-visited" (with Alessandra Lemma) and " Imaginary Existences: a psychoanalytic exploration of phantasy, fiction, dreams and day dreams", written by Ignes Sodre.  She maintains a full time psychoanalytic practice in London.



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