In Dark Times: Psychoanalytic Practice and Ethics As a Form of Resistance - Ethics Conference with Era Loewenstein, PhD

  • 27 Oct 2018
  • 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • The Doubletree Hotel at 1617 N. I-35, Austin 78702


  • until October 13th
  • *Within 10 years of graduation
  • *Within 10 years of graduation
  • Until October 13th
  • *Within 10 years of graduation
  • *Within 10 years of graduation
  • Until October 13th
  • *WIthin 10 years of graduation
  • *Within 10 years of graduation

Registration is closed

Austin Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (ASPP), a local chapter of the Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39) of the American Psychological Association (APA) Center for Psychoanalytic Studies (CFPS), a center affiliated with the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) present:

In Dark Times: Psychoanalytic Practice and Ethics As a Form of Resistance

with Era Loewenstein, PhD: San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis

Stacy Stewart, PhD, will also present clinical material for discussion in the afternoon.

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Theodor Adorno, the Frankfurt School philosopher who was profoundly influenced by psychoanalysis and was forced to flee Nazi Germany in the 1930s, described fascist propaganda as “psychoanalysis in reverse.” Using contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives I will demonstrate in this presentation how more than ever the psychoanalytic attitude, practice and ethics can be seen as an antidote to totalitarian states of mind and to totalitarianism. The talk will explore how the practice and the ethics of psychoanalysis, that are based on the pursuit of personal truth, humility, tolerance for otherness and the commitment to becoming familiar with and to own disavowed aspects of oneself, can be seen as active ways to resist fascism during these dark times when powerful anti-democratic forces are on the rise in the US and in Europe. The capacity to bear doubt and to face the unknown while developing what Bion termed the capacity to stay in a state of negative capability will be discussed in this context as well. Clinical illustrations of these topics from adult and child treatments will be included.


Registration 8:30

Program 9am - 12pm

3 Ethics CE/CME

1:30 - 4:30

Case Conference with Dr. Era Loewenstein,  

Dr. Stacy Stewart presenting


Learning Objectives: 1) Participants will be able to describe at least three characteristics of a totalitarian state of mind. 2) Participants will be able to demonstrate how totalitarian states of mind are antithetical to psychoanalytic practice and ethics.3) Participants will be able to describe how psychotherapists and psychoanalysts may drift into totalitarian states of mind.4) Participants will be able to describe how psychotherapists can guard against sliding into totalitarian states of mind.

Bio: Era A. Loewenstein, Ph.D., is an adult, adolescent, and child psychoanalyst and psychologist. Dr. Loewenstein is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (SFCP) and a past President of Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (NCSPP). Era was an Associate Board Member of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Currently she is on the faculty of SFCP, NCSPP and Access Institute. Era presents locally and nationally on various topics including trauma, perversion, the development of the capacity to dream, the relationship between the creative work of Maurice Sendak and his childhood trauma and psychoanalytic perspective of totalitarian states of mind. Her paper Dystopian Narratives: Encounters with the Perverse Sadomasochistic Universe was published in Psychoanalytic Inquiry in January 2017. Her most recent paper The Agitator and His Propaganda Machine: Donald Trump and the Road to American Fascism will be published in the forthcoming issue of Fort Da.


1) Temple, N. (2006). Totalitarianism –The Internal World and the Political Mind. Psychoanal. Psychother., 20 (2):105-114.

2) Rosenfeld, H. (1971). A Clinical Approach to the Psychoanalytic Theory of the Life

and Death Instincts: An Investigation Into the Aggressive Aspects of

Narcissism. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 52:169-17.

3) Bollas, C. (1992) The Fascist State of Mind. In: Being A Character: Psychoanalysis

& Self Experience. New York: Hill and Wang. Pp. 193-217.

Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. CME: These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies. APsaA is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. APsaA designates these live activities for a maximum of 13.5 AMA PRA Category I credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: None of the planners or the presenter of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships or conflicts of interest to disclose.  ASPP is approved by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (Provider # 1138) to provide continuing education for licensed professional counselors in Texas. ASPP is approved by the Texas State Board of Social Workers Examiners (Provider # 5501) to provide continuing education for social workers and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists (Provider #1138).

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