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Clinical Conference: Jessica Benjamin:"More Than One Can Live”: Reconceiving Harm and Reparation in the Intersubjective World

  • 26 Jan 2019
  • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • New Haven Lawn Club


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

The Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology


The 2018-2019 Dale H. Ortmeyer Memorial Lecture

"More Than One Can Live”  

Reconceiving Harm and Reparation

in the Intersubjective  World

Jessica Benjamin, PhD

Saturday January 26, 2019

10:30 am – 12:30 pm
The New Haven Lawn Club
193 Whitney Ave, New Haven

Lunch will follow for all attendees


In the therapeutic process, we encounter impasses where one must seemingly harm or be harmed by the other, and it feels as though there is only room for one psyche to live. This was already implied by Klein’s writings, but this presentation will juxtapose her views to an intersubjective perspective. The theory of mutual regulation and recognition allows a reformulation both of the dilemma of harm and the conception of repair. 

However, when there is a history of failed repair, even expressing a need for acknowledgment may be fearfully equated with being destructive to the needed other—the other who cannot tolerate the failure to be good. Thus both need for responsiveness and need for acknowledgment of failure have the imagined or real potential to so destabilize the other that being injured and harming the other become conflated. How does our clinical work enable us to create/recreate with our patients the sense of a lawful, meaningful world (representation) in which both can live? 


Jessica Benjamin is a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City, where she is a supervising faculty member at the Relational Track of the New York University Postdoctoral Psychology program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis as well as a founding board member and faculty of the Mitchell Center for Relational Studies. She was a co-founder of the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality and on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Dialogues.

Dr Benjamin is known as a contributor to the development of relational psychoanalysis and its interrelation with feminism as well as the theory of intersubjectivity. She is the author of three books: The Bonds of LoveLike Subjects, Love ObjectsShadow of the Other. Her most frequently cited article is "Beyond Doer and Done to: an Intersubjective view of Thirdness" (Psa. Quarterly 2004). She directed The Acknowledgment Project (2004-2010), a series of dialogues between Israeli and Palestinian mental health professionals and participated in a video project on Combatants for Peace, available on line. Her most recent book Beyond Doer and Done To: Recognition Theory, Intersubjectivity and the Third was published in July 2017.


The New Haven Lawn Club

193 Whitney Ave, New Haven

Conference Schedule

10:00 – 10:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast

10:30 – 12:30 Presentation

12:30  –  1:30  Lunch for All Attendees

To Register and Pay

Register and pay online with your credit card or paypal.  

To pay by check, print and fill out the registration form and mail with your check to Conference Registrar, Matt Brennan, LCSW, 738 Townsend Ave, New Haven, CT 06512 Mailed registrations must be postmarked by January 15 to qualify for early registration discount.

Refunds will be given in full if the Conference Registrar, Matt Brennan, LCSW, is contacted at Matt Brennan no later than the Monday before the conference.

Click HERE for MS Word version of the mail in registration form. 

Members - remember to log in to register as a member.

Recommended Readings

Bromberg, Shadow of the Tsunami and the Growth of the Relational Mind, 2011 Routledge.

Benjamin, 2004, Beyond Doer and Done to: An intersubjective View of Thirdness. Psychoanalytic Quarterly 73. 5-46.

Winnicott, D. W. 1971. The Use of the Object and Relating Through Identifications. In Playing and Reality. 


The conference is appropriate for professionals interested in the practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The instructional level of this conference is intermediate.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • To make clinical use of the idea of intersubjective rupture and repair and its developmental origins. 
  • The meaning and application of the concept of the idea of the moral Third and how it guides the therapist in clinical impasses that involve the “doer-done to” complementarity.
  • Will be able to evaluate and discern when acknowledgment and disclosure by the analyst are helpful, especially when there are problems of dissociation and shame. 

Continuing Education

This conference has been approved for for 2 continuing education hours (NASW & Div. 39)

Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. Participants are asked to be aware of needs for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them.

Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to Ellen Nasper, PhD, at Ellen Nasper.

Art: Katsushika Hokusai,The Suspension Bridge on the Border of Hida and Etchū Provinces (Hietsu no sakai tsuribashi), from the series Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces (Shokoku meikyō kiran) ca. 1830. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

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