Sessions 5 & 6:
Weekend of December 4 – 5, 2021

Session 5: Theories for Traumatic Times

Date: Saturday, December 4th 12 Noon, NY time
(For webinar hours in your time zone click here)

Presenters: Eugênio Canesin Dal Molin and Judit Mészáros

Moderator: Antal Bókay

Summary: In this webinar session we will present some elements of Ferenczi’s trauma theory and discuss how these might be useful instruments for a comprehensive reading of the Covid pandemic and the way it is affecting individuals and social issues. The speakers will relate Ferenczi’s ideas a) to other psychoanalytic theories of psychic trauma, and b) to the concept of cultural trauma, so that we can differentiate between challenging situations and traumatic ones.

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

  1. Discuss and compare the main characteristics of different trauma theories in psychoanalysis and related fields of knowledge.
  2. Discuss how Ferenczi’s trauma theory influences our contemporary knowledge.
  3. Differentiate between challenging situations and trauma.


Judit MészárosJudit Mészáros, Ph. D. (Presenter), habil. is a training and supervising analyst of the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society (affiliated with the IPA); professor honoris causa at the Eötvös Loránd University, and staff member at the European Psychotherapy Training Institute, Budapest. She has written scores of papers and is the editor or author of several books, among them: Ferenczi and Beyond. Exile of the Budapest School and Solidarity in the Psychoanalytic Movement during the Nazi Years (Karnac, 2014). A fundamental research topic of hers is trauma theory. Judit Mészáros and Carlo Bonomi were the primary administrators of the Ferenczi House Project, which culminated in the purchase of Ferenczi’s former office in his villa in Budapest. It currently serves as the Ferenczi Center and Archives. She is the president of the Ferenczi Society, a Board Member of the International Sándor Ferenczi Network, and a psychoanalyst in private practice.

Eugênio Canesin Dal MolinEugênio Canesin Dal Molin, Ph. D. (Presenter), psychoanalyst, and a post-doctoral researcher at the University of São Paulo (USP). He is a founding member of the Sándor Ferenczi Brazilian Research Group (GBPSF), affiliated with the ISFN, and a member of the Department of Psychoanalysis of Sedes Sapientiae Institute in São Paulo. He is the author of The third time of trauma: Freud, Ferenczi, and the drawing of a concept (Perspectiva/FAPESP, 2016), and co-editor with Daniel Kupermann and Jô Gondar of Ferenczi: Clinical and Political Disquiet (Zagodoni, 2020), both in Portuguese.

Antal BókayAntal Bókay, Ph. D. (Moderator), is a professor of modern literature and literary theory, and co-founder, lecturer of the Psychoanalysis Ph.D. Program at the University of Pécs, Hungary. He is a founding member of the Hungarian Ferenczi Association and Imago Society Budapest. He is a board member of the International Sándor Ferenczi Network. His interests and publications include: theory and history of psychoanalysis (metapsychology of Freud, the psychoanalysis of Sándor Ferenczi), psychoanalysis and literature, deconstruction and poetics of modern poetry. He is co-editor, with Peter Rudnytsky and Patricia Giampieri-Deutsch, of Ferenczi’s Turn in Psychoanalysis (New York University Press, 1996).

Session 6: Elasticity Today

Date: Sunday, December 5th 12 Noon, NY time
(For webinar hours in your time zone click here)

Presenters: Judit Szekacs and Giselle Galdi

Moderator: Kathleen Kelley Lainé

Summary: Ferenczi’s primary disagreement with Freud concerned his experimentation with psychoanalytic technique by placing the patient-therapist dyad at its center (A. Haynal, 1988, The Technique at Issue). Ferenczi was deeply committed to broadening the scope of psychoanalysis and believed that strict Freudian psychoanalytic technique severely limited the type of patients who could be analyzed. Today, we are witnessing another apparent challenge to our current technique of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis because of the pandemic. The use of telepsychology represents a paradigm shift in our psychoanalytic clinical history. It has impacted our practices, clinical work in general, training, supervision, and research. Moreover, it is currently anticipated that a sizable proportion of clinicians and patients will not fully return to in-person work even after the pandemic. When there are such far-reaching changes in psychotherapeutic work, it is helpful to remember Ferenczi’s seminal paper “Elasticity of Technique” (1928), which emphasizes flexibility in being in the complex therapeutic and external experience. In this session we will focus on Ferenczian ideas such as elasticity, tact, empathy, and mutuality, in the analytic treatment of anyone who lives with today’s challenges, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, annihilation anxiety, or chronic political upheaval.

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

  1. Identify key aspects of the Ferenczian method of “elasticity.”
  2. Discuss effective uses of telepsychology.


Giselle GaldiGiselle Galdi, Ph. D. (Presenter), is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, and the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis, which is publishing its 81st volume in 2021. She is a Training and Supervising Analyst and former Director of Training at the American Institute for Psychoanalysis, former Director of the Trauma Treatment Center of the Karen Horney Clinic, in New York City. She is a member of APsaA, IPA, AAP, AIP, the Sándor Ferenczi Center of the New School in New York City and a Board member of the International Sándor Ferenczi Network. She is also in private practice in New York City.

Judit Szekacs-WeiszJudit Szekacs-Weisz, Ph. D. (Presenter), is a bilingual psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, a member of both the British and the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society. Born and educated (mostly) in Budapest, she has absorbed the ideas and ways of thinking of Ferenczi, Michael and Alice Balint, Hermann and Rajka, as an integral part of a “professional mother tongue.” The experience of living and working in Hungary during transformational years sensitized her to the social and individual aspects of trauma, identity formation, and strategies of survival.

After her move to London in 1990, she founded Imago East-West and later the Multilingual Psychotherapy Centre (MLPC). She was among the ten Founding Members of the Sándor Ferenczi Society, in Budapest and an active member of the International Sándor Ferenczi Network from its inception. She is an author of several articles and editor of Lost Childhood and the Language of Exile (Freud Museum & Imago East West, 2004), Ferenczi and His World, and Ferenczi for Our Time (Karnac Books, 2012) and Sándor Ferenczi-Ernest Jones: Letters 1911–1933 (Karnac Books, 2013).

Kathleen Kelley-LainéKathleen Kelley-Lainé (Moderator), is member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris, the International Psychoanalytical Society, the European Psychoanalytical Federation. She is an honorary member of the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society, and has been active for many years in the International Sándor Ferenczi Society. An analyst in private practice, she works in three languages: English, French, and Hungarian. Her interest in the role of the “lost mother tongue” of early childhood immigration lead her to organize a large international conference at UNESCO—“Une Mère, une Terre, une Langue.” [One mother, one land, one language] Some of the outstanding papers can be found in a publication edited by Judit Szekacs-Weisz and Ivan Ward Lost Childhood and the Language of Exile. (Imago MLPC and the Freud Museum, 2004). Kathleen is the author of “Peter Pan the Story of Lost Childhood”, originally written in French “Peter Pan ou l’Enfant Triste” (Calmann-Levy Paris 2nd Edition 2005. A second publication co-authored with Dominique Rousset, “Les Contes Cruelles de la Mondialisation” was published in 2005. At present she is finishing her Memoir of Childhood: Lost in Exile. Kathleen was born in Budapest, grew up in Toronto, and has been living in Paris for most of her adult life.