Claustro-Agoraphobic Dilemma and Impasses in Treatment with Susan Finkelstein at CFS

“Claustro-Agoraphobic Dilemma and Impasses in Treatment”
Presenter: Susan Finkelstein, LCSW
Five-Session Workshop
Beginning November 6, 2015
1:00 – 2:30pm

This workshop addresses the theory of primitive object relations as defined by Henri Rey, Herbert Rosenfeld and John Steiner’s ideas about Melanie Klein’s “holes in the mind.” The concepts of marsupial space, psychotic islands, and psychic retreats are “places” inside the mind and body that narcissistic, schizoid, psychosomatic and borderline patients psychically hide to avoid the pain of the “nameless dread ” (Wilfred Bion) which refers to the experience of being intrusively inside the mind object or painfully left outside of the object. In this workshop we will explore the theory of inner object relations and how pathology manifests in primitive personalities. Through the understanding of these phenomena, the analyst uses his counter-transference to understand what is being said or enacted in the room, in the moment by moment shifts with the patient. By interpreting the primitive anxieties and their purpose, links to thinking can be made within the “analytic couple,” to facilitate psychic development and integration in the patient. This understanding can be helpful to avoid impasses in treatment. Clinical material will be presented.

Susan Finkelstein, LCSW is a member of the faculty of The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and the Contemporary Freudian Society where she is also a Training and Supervising Analyst at their Training Institute. She is in private practice in psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and couple therapy in New York City. She is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and The IPA. She is the director of Understanding Primitive Mental States in NYC, where she coordinates programs that study the nature of primitive anxieties. She teaches about the impact of anxiety and unprocessed aggression on psychic structure. She has studied and presented on psychosomatic conditions, schizoid phenomena, borderline and claustro-agoraphobic psychic spaces.

Learning Objectives:

Workshop participants will be able to:

Define the concepts of claustro-agoraphobic dilemmas and their defenses in borderline, schizoid, psychosomatic and narcissistic patients.
Recognize defenses in patients centered around this dilemma to avoid experiencing awareness and anxiety.
Explain the transference and counter-transference dilemmas that cause impasses in the treatment due to claustro-agoraphobic anxieties so that possible alternative structures can be worked through in the patient-therapist dyad.
Continuing Education Contact Hours:

The Psychoanalytic Training Institute of the Contemporary Freudian Society SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0087. Contact Hours are granted to participants with documented attendance of the entire program and completed evaluation form. It is the responsibility of the participants seeking Contact Hours to comply with these requirements. Upon completion of this program and evaluation form, participants will be granted 7.5 Contact Hours.


771 West End Avenue

New York, NY 10025


November 6, 13, 20

December 4, 11

Workshop Fee:

$225 CFS Members

$275 Non-CFS Members

$100 Candidates and Students with valid ID

No refunds within 30 days of the first date of workshop

For further information regarding this course, please contact Vivian Eskin, or 212-724-4785




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CFS-NY Cont Ed Workshop – 11/6/15

11 Bunker Hill Drive

Manalapan, NJ 07726

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