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Intimate Partner Violence as Transgenerational Trauma and the Creative Role of Activism in Healing

Many psychoanalysts and psychotherapists have experienced transgenerational trauma in the clinical space, but most writing on the topic define it narrowly, focusing on temporally discrete experiences of violence and not on family or gender-based violence. This presentation focuses on a case of intimate partner violence and father-daughter rape through a layered lens of transgenerational gender and racial trauma. It seeks to expand notions of transgenerational trauma to include the violence transmitted within cultural categories of race, class, sexuality and gender, where the intractable repetitions of family violence were interrupted not only through the clinical work but also through the patient’s social justice activism. Integrating activism with the clinical work produced new forms of embodied symbolizations for both the patient and therapist.

Katie Gentile, Ph.D. is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of the Gender Studies Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is the author of the books Creating Bodies: Eating Disorders as Self-Destructive Survival, and the forthcoming The Business of Being Made: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Time, Bodies both from Routledge. She is currently researching the use of the fetus as a fetish object for the cultural body and personhood amendments. She is a co-editor of Studies in Gender and Sexuality and on the editorial board of Women’s Studies Quarterly. She is on the faculty of New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and in private practice in New York City.

This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs & LCSWs. Lecture led by Katie Gentile, Ph.D.