“Understanding Somatic Counter-Transference Reactions”
Jerold Nashban, LP
Certain patients can elicit powerful counter-transference reactions which, if unaddressed, can express themselves through the body. About twenty-five years ago, I had a gran mal seizure immediately after seeing a patient. I will begin my talk by discussing this case.
Freud’s article, “Dostoevsky and Parricide”, provides the structure for this presentation, which will show how both neurology and psychoanalysis can be used to deal with “genuine epilepsy”, a form of this disorder which has both a physical and psychological basis. I will also examine two more seminal psychoanalytic thinkers on epilepsy and psychosomatosis, Abram Kardiner (“The Bio-analytics of the Epileptic Reaction”) and Joyce McDougall (“Theaters of the Body: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Psychosomatic Illness”) and see how they might explain what happened that day and subsequently.
It has been my experience that both neurologists and psychoanalysts are largely unacquainted with the history of psychoanalytic literature dealing with epilepsy and other physical disorders.
It is my hope that analysts will come to this talk prepared to talk about not only their patients, who suffer from psychosomatic conditions, but also, hopefully some of their own somatic counter-transference reactions to their patients.
Jerold Nashban, LP, is in private practice. He is a member of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) where he teaches courses on Ego Psychology, Dream Interpretation, and Freud’s Cases. He is also a member of the Chinese American Psychoanalytic Association and works there as a control analyst and supervisor.
*This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs and LCSWs.
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