||CHANGES IN THE THERAPIST’S LIFE:
THEIR IMPACT ON THE PATIENT, THE THERAPIST AND THE DYAD
SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2017
PRESENTER: ANN RUDOVSKY, LCSW
Changes in the therapist’s life often have a profound but unacknowledged impact on the treatment. These may include illness in the therapist as well as in his/her family members, impending separation, divorce, the birth of a child, especially a child with developmental or physical problems, and/or the emergence of severe conflicts with an adolescent. At the extreme, the therapist may be dealing with a death of a family member or catastrophic illness involving actual life or death issues. Whenever the nature of the crisis in the therapist’s personal life, however well-concealed it may seem, there are heightened transference and countertransference responses connected to a joint wish to collude in avoiding what seems like a shift in the therapist’s connection to his/her patient. The therapist can become overwhelmed by a variety of disturbing emotions: feelings of shame, guilt, anger, helplessness and narcissistic injury that accompany the reality of physical illness or another problem in himself/herself or family member. If he/she is in treatment, especially one involving chemotherapy or radiation, there are often side effects that may cause fatigue, nausea and depression. The therapist may also be struggling with significant practical and financial considerations. For the patient there may be a wish to turn away from threatening realities which might include a period of separation, changes in session times, a fear that one’s own aggression and destructive wishes have caused this calamity as well as the threat of loss of the object. In many cases, patients and therapists collude with each other to evade painful actualities about the knowns as well as the many unknowns that need to be faced and tolerated. Illness and disruption in the therapist’s life or of a family member is not a rare occurrence, yet so little has been written on this subject. This workshop will consider the questions about the impact of this reality as it enters the treatment, the handling of the therapist’s and patient’s various emotional responses, as well as questions about how and when to share information.
ANN RUDOVSKY, LCSW Certificate in Psychoanalysis, New York Freudian Society. Advanced Candidate in Child and Adolescent Analysis: New York University Psychoanalytic Institute, New York University Medical School. Faculty and Supervisor: Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Adult and Child and Adolescent Programs. Training and Supervising Analyst, Faculty, Board Member: Contemporary Freudian Society. Member: International Psychoanalytical Association.
LOCATION: The Metropolitan Center for Mental Health
1090 St. Nicholas Avenue (located on West 165th Street
between St. Nicholas and Amsterdam Avenues, downstairs
level next to Church Santa Rosa de Lima)