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Reconsidering Men and Masculinities: Developmental Conundrums and Clinical Quandaries Presenters: Michael J. Diamond, PhD, Donald Moss, MD, Sidney Phillips, MD

  • 22 Nov 2014
  • 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • The New Haven Lawn Club 193 Whitney Ave. New Haven


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

The Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology and the Western New England Psychoanalytic Society are pleased to jointly sponsor

Reconsidering Men and Masculinities: Developmental Conundrums 

and Clinical Quandaries


Michael J. Diamond, Ph.D.

Donald Moss, M.D.

Sidney Phillips, M.D.

From our vantage point as 21st century psychoanalytic thinkers and therapists, we can look back on our past understandings of gender and sexuality from Freud inward to the contemporary postmodern assertions of the cultural relativism and the infinitude of gender and body narratives. Recently, we see a burgeoning of literature that reconsiders psychoanalytic theories specifically as they apply to male development and treating men clinically. In this conference, we seek to address the question: To what can we look forward in reformulating theory and practice with respect to men and their masculinities? Two eminent psychoanalytic theorists and therapists, Michael J.Diamond and Donald Moss, offer their own approaches to the evolving concepts of masculinities and to working therapeutically with men. Michael Diamond aims to elucidate the enigmas and elusiveness of male gender identity as grounded in the asymmetry of the boy’s early relationship to mother, marked by a largely unsymbolizable enduring experience of absence and lack. Using illustrative clinical material, he will argue that in order to progress toward mature genitality, the boy must integrate experiences of incompleteness and resulting body-based vulnerabilities with many intersecting issues including psychic bisexuality, triadic (Oedipal)realities, the feminine, and foreclosed masculine love for the father and other males. Donald Moss’s unique perspective originates in his work with a 17 year- old boy who said, "I realized I'm a chick.” The adolescent gives voice to an elaborate and precise set of complaints addressed against his penis and his wished-for surgical solution. This clinical encounter is Moss’s starting point for thinking more generally about the material conditions associated with having a penis-- the work it might demand, the sacrifices it might entail, the rewards it might promise. So that we may explore their convergences and divergences as well as our own, ample time will be provided both for panelists to respond to each other and to their audience.

Michael J. Diamond, Ph.D. is a Trainingand Supervising Analyst at the Los AngelesInstitute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, and on the Teaching andSupervising Faculty for the Wright Institute, Los Angeles. He has authored numerous clinical and theoretical papers and book chapters in the areas of psychoanalyticgender theory, masculinity, and fathering, including his 2007 book, My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other Throughout Their Lives.

Donald Moss, M.D. is on the Faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education, NYU Medical Center. He is the author of Hating in the First Person Plural (2003), Thirteen Waysof Looking at a Man (2012), and At War with the Obvious (forthcoming). Dr. Moss has authored over fifty articles over the past twenty-five years. He serves on the Editorial Boards of IJP, JAPA, and The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. He is also a Founding Member of "Second Story" a Psychoanalytic Salon(2013).

Sidney Phillips, M.D. is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst and Chair of the Education Committee at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. He has authored 2 papers in JAPA (1999 & 2001) on aspects of male homosexuality.

8:30   Registration and Coffee

9:00 Welcome: Barbara Marcus, PhD

9:10 Introduction: Sidney Phillips, MD

9:30 Michael Diamond, PhD

Primordial Vulnerability and the Conundrum of Masculinity

10:30 Discussion

11:00 Coffee Break

11:30 Donald Moss, MD

On Some of the Pleasures and Burdens Associated with having a Penis

12:30 Discussion

Conference Committee:

Barbara Marcus, Chair

Jill Delaney, Angelica Kaner, Dean Leone, Mickey Silverman, Ann Singer, Rachel Torello.

This conference is being reviewed for the following continuing education credit hours:


CME (physicians)  3

CE (APA, Div 39)   3

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