Sessions 1 & 2:
Weekend of September 25 – 26, 2021

Session 1: The hypnotic influence of leaders and the creation of alternate reality

Date: Saturday, September 25th 12 Noon, NY time
(For webinar hours in your time zone click here)

Presenters: Endre Koritar and Robert Prince

Moderator: Ian Miller

Summary: Psychoanalysis has traditionally been an insular practice by analysts in their offices sequestered from any outside intrusion. However, in recent years a demand for psychoanalytic perspectives on the underlying dynamics of political figures and social phenomena has arisen. Media representatives have increasingly approached psychoanalysts for insight into such conditions as narcissistic personality disorder, compulsive lying, delusional thinking, when attempting to understand the irrational machinations of authoritarian leaders. Here, we will not be investigating the individual psyche, but rather the relationship between psyche and the culture of the populace (i.e., the polis). This session will consider the complex underlying dynamics of leaders’ hypnotic influence and the creation of an alternate reality.

Learning Objectives:  After this session participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the underlying dynamics of a leader’s influence on the populace.
  2. Discuss the techniques used in autocratic leaders’ hypnotic suggestions to the populace.

Bios:

Endre Koritar, M. D. (Presenter), is a training and supervising analyst with the Western Psychoanalytic Society Institute, and its current director. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of the University of British Columbia affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry. He is on the Board of Directors of the International Sándor Ferenczi Network, the National Council of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society, the National Training Committee, and an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis.  He is interested in researching and elaborating on the ideas that Sándor Ferenczi, who was a harbinger of contemporary psychoanalytic theory and technique, developed in his writings.

Robert Prince, Ph. D., ABPP (Presenter), is an Associate Editor of The American Journal of Psychoanalysis and a past president of Psychologist-Psychoanalyst Clinicians, Section V of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association and formerly on the Board of Directors of the Division of Psychoanalysis and of the Academy of Psychoanalysis. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Columbia University and his Certificate in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy from the NYU Postdoctoral Program, where he is adjunct Associate Professor and past co-chair of the Interpersonal Track and one of the founding members of the Trauma Studies Specialization. Among his 40 publications are The Legacy of the Holocaust, The Death of Psychoanalysis, and edited special issues ofthe American Journal of Psychoanalysis: Trauma and Culture, and What is Effective in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Historical Reprise. His most recent articles reflect a concern with divining concrete historical actuality in the shadow of context, construction and narration.

Ian S. Miller, Ph. D. (Moderator), is a clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst, practicing and writing in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Miller is Associate Editor of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis and a Member of the Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. He is the author of Defining Psychoanalysis. Achieving a Vernacular Expression (Karnac, 2016), and On Minding and Being Minded (Karnac, 2015). Together with Kay Souter, he is author of Beckett and Bion. The (Im) Patient Voice in Psychotherapy and Literature (Karnac, 2013); and with Alistair Sweet, On the Daily Work of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2018).

Session 2: Leaning Towards Authoritarianism

Date: Sunday, September 26th 12 Noon, NY time
(For webinar hours in your time zone click here)

Presenters: Jay Frankel and Samir Gandesha

Moderator: Christopher Fortune

Summary: In this session, the presenters explore the social and political impacts of economic and cultural changes in a regime of neoliberal capitalism that has left large portions of the populace worse off or dispossessed. They examine the dynamic forces at work in the psyches of those who long for a return to the “good old days” of economic and cultural affluence. The growing socio-economic inequality in society is experienced as a narcissistic injury causing many to lean on authoritarian leaders promising to restore their sense of belonging, safety, and specialness. Populists like Trump in the United States, and others elsewhere have been able to read the politics of the polis and through their rhetoric attract significant portions of the populace to support their platforms which paradoxically increase social inequity.

Learning Objectives: After this session participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the dynamics through which particular social traumas foster the development of authoritarian movements.
  2. Elaborate on the narcissistic structure of authoritarian movements.

Bios:

Jay Frankel, Ph. D. (Presenter), is a psychologist and psychoanalyst. He is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, and Clinical Consultant, in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, at New York University; Associate Editor, and previously Executive Editor, of the journal Psychoanalytic Dialogues; co-author (with Neil Altman, Richard Briggs, Daniel Gensler, and Pasqual Pantone) of Relational Child Psychotherapy (Other Press, 2002); co-editor (with Aleksandar Dimitrijevic and Gabriele Cassullo) of Ferenczi’s Influence on Contemporary Psychoanalytic Traditions (Routledge, 2018); and author of three dozen journal articles, book chapters, as well as numerous conference presentations and lectures, on topics including trauma, identification with the aggressor, authoritarianism, the analytic relationship, the work of Sándor Ferenczi, play, child psychotherapy, relational psychoanalysis, and others.

Samir Gandesha, Ph. D. (Presenter), is Professor of Modern European Thought and Culture in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. He is co-editor (with Lars Rensmann) of Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations (Stanford, 2012). He is co-editor (with Johan Hartle) of Spell of Capital: Reification and Spectacle (University of Amsterdam Press, 2017) and Aesthetic Marx (Bloomsbury Press, 2017) also with Johan Hartle. He is editor of Spectres of Fascism: Historical, Theoretical and Contemporary Perspectives (Pluto, 2020) as well as co-editor (with Stefano Marino and Colin Campbell) of Adorno and Popular Music (Mimesis, 2021) and co-editor (with Stefano Marino and Johan Hartle) of The Aging of Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory (Mimesis, 2021). He is also co-editor of the Journal of Adorno Studies. He has taught at the University of Nanjing, Suzhou University of Science and Technology in China and at the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil.

Christopher Fortune, Ed. D. (Moderator), is a historian of psychoanalysis who focuses on Sándor Ferenczi. He has lectured and published internationally in scholarly journals including Psyche, British Journal of Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and History, and Journal of Analytical Psychology, and popular journals including Psychology Today and Village Voice. He is editor of the Sándor Ferenczi-Georg Groddeck Correspondence: 1921–1933. His original research establishing the identity and background of Elizabeth Severn (“RN”) was published in The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi, Ferenczi’s Turn in Psychoanalysis, 100 Years of Psychoanalysis and the American Journal of Psychoanalysis. He is an Associate of the Institute for Humanities, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.