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Call Us: (202) 543-4645
50 E Street SE, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20003-2620

The Capitol Hill Center offers seminars and supervision to clinicians seeking to increase their depth of understanding of clinical material, to enhance their therapeutic efficacy in the treatment room, and to join with a community of therapists committed to continued learning. Visit this page periodically to learn about new educational offerings.

DRAMATIC DIALOGUE – PRESENT ABSENCES

RETHINKING THERAPEUTIC ACTION IN LIGHT OF ENACTMENTS AND THE

‘TRANSGENERATIONAL TURN’ 

A number of exciting new developments are occurring in our field as a paradigm shift is underway.  Many clinicians/theorists are working to reconceptualize the therapeutic process in light of the increased centrality of enactments, multiple self-states, post-Bionian thought and what has been termed the ‘transgenerational turn’.  Aron and Atlas in their recent book, Dramatic Dialogue, rethink the nature of therapeutic action, focusing on how therapy “proceeds through the enactment of a dramatic dialogue.”  Therapy is not just a ‘talking cure’, but involves living the emotional worlds of self and other as together therapist and patient dream the “undreamt dreams and interrupted cries” (Ogden) that lead individuals to seek therapy.  The transformative potential of enactments is not limited to the working through of the traumatic past, but includes opening pathways to future possibilities.  Likewise in the ‘transgenerational turn’, it is not only traumas that are transmitted but also strengths and resilience.  In the ‘transgenerational turn’ there has been a widening of our perspective from the dyad to the family to the socio-cultural context in which we work.  Historic traumas tend to appear between and within persons as “present absences.”  ‘Present absences’ refer to “absences that can be emotionally, viscerally, or even unconsciously felt.”  They grow from unprocessed emotional life and tend to emerge in narrative gaps. These ‘present absences’ often manifest in the form of ghosts or demons, as a haunting presence that invades the minds and bodies of our patients and ourselves.  How do we heal the often unrecognized individual and collective wounds of history?  Can we embrace a perspective that includes multiple self-states, some of which may be “inherited” from previous generations, particularly when there are perpetrators in our history?  What is our ethical responsibility for our ancestors’ transgressions?  As Grand and Salberg write, “To heal human suffering, we often need to reclaim our elders, as well as the roots and branches of our family tree.”  Indeed, as we enter the world of relational trauma, individual and collective, how do we transmute violent repetitions into repair?  How do we heal the ruptures in attachment bonding?  What can help us reconnect our thinking to our affective life when thinking and feeling have become dissociated?  These and related questions will be addressed through weekly readings, clinical narratives, and class discussions as together we explore the challenges involved in developing a healing dramatic dialogue that makes therapeutic use of enactments and reverie.

                                                                  

Presented By: Virginia Hendrickson

50 E St. SE, Suite 300

Washington, DC  20003

(703) 750-3647

  

Dates: Twelve Sessions

Wednesdays:  1:15 – 2:45 pm: Sept. 25, 2019 – Dec. 18, 2019

Fridays:  10:30-12:00 noon:  Sept 27, 2019 – Dec. 20, 2019

  

Fee:   $500 (includes copies of course material)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Learn about our professional psychotherapy team.  Schedule an appointment for therapy online.