thick knotted rope around a bar
CPD Credits
Event Type
Live Online Event
Zoom & Recording for 365 days
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
thick knotted rope around a bar
Friday, March 8, 2024 - Friday, March 15, 2024

Clinical Impasse - A Five Part Series

Three recordings + two live sessions

With Salman Akhtar, Anthony Bass, Narendra Keval, Steven Kuchuck, Jill Salberg & Zack Eleftheriadou (Chair)

This five-part series is underway. We have received excellent feedback from participants so far:

“Jill's presentation of case material and her expert weaving of theory and personal process was very powerful as a learning tool.”

“The importance and centrality of envy in many clinical situations along with the difficulty in working with envy, one's own and the client's. The toxicity of envy in all directions.”

“Such an open case illustration after an engaging theoretical summary”

You are welcome to join us for upcoming sessions and will receive the recording of the sessions now passed.

A therapeutic impasse can lead to self-doubt among therapists, as well as concerns that the client may terminate the therapy prematurely. We aim, as Dr Salberg did so effectively in session one. to demonstrate that these challenging moments can offer great insights for both client and therapist, if they can be worked through.

More recently impasses, collisions, and collusions have been acknowledged as inherent and valuable aspects of clinical practice. This means that the experience of getting stuck or encountering a therapeutic impasse can actually help the therapist to understand more about the client's inner world and potentially shed light on how the histories of both the client and therapist are interacting unconsciously. Identifying, naming, and making sense of these clinical impasses can serve as a way forwards

Our speakers will cover themes including the recognising unconscious dynamics between therapist and patient which maintain a stasis in the therapy, the impact of intergenerational transmissions on progress, the phenomenon of "othering" within the context of relational psychoanalysis and racialized enactments, and the delicate art of being affected by the therapeutic process without becoming overwhelmed by it.


19 January 2024
14:30 Jill Salberg- Clinical Impasse as an Inevitable part of Therapeutic Action

Perhaps the greatest shift in clinical practice and literature is organised around a shared understanding across theoretical divides regarding the inevitability of impasses, collisions, and collusions in the treatment relationship. In this session, Jill will consider how inter-generational transmission affects both patient and analyst, infiltrating the treatment, disrupting alliances and blocks forward movement. Jill will discuss clinical material that  illustrates how a mother’s early death came to haunt the lives of subsequent generations of mothers and daughters. I will address the impact of attachment rupture, trauma, envy, and shame as they reflect transgenerational transmission phenomena and how they were worked on, repaired, and utilised as therapeutic action.  

15.10 Discussion with Zack Eleftheriadou
15.30 Q&A with participants
16.00 End


26 January 2024  
14:30 Steven Kuchuck- The Analyst’s Negation of Self and “Other”: Sex and Love on the Upper East Side

Although the patient you will be introduced to in this session entered treatment in his later years, he was still very much searching for the boy he had not yet been while on his way to becoming a man. It was only recently that he came to accept a truth he had been running from for years. Banished by parents and society, sexuality had been forced underground for most of his life.  Consequently, today’s tale is one of loss and painful longing. The analyst’s tendencies to Other in this treatment will be tracked as both an impediment to and component of the therapeutic action.

15.10 Discussion with Zack Eleftheriadou
15.30 Q&A with participants
16.00 End


2 February 2023 
14:30 Salman Akhtar- Disruptions & Interruptions in Treatment 

This presentation will open by defining and distinguishing ' Interruptions' and 'Disruptions'. Devoting greater attention to the latter, the presentation shall highlight six psychodynamic triggers that set it into motion. This includes unconscious guilt, anxious retreat from higher level conflicts, envious and sadomasochistic attack on the therapist's calm and creativity, fear of separation from the therapist by improvement, shift in the patient's structural organization from a conflict-based to a deficit-based sector and failure of analyst's empathy and attunement. Therapeutic interventions directed at resolving each type of 'disruption' will be discussed and the various proposals made shall be anchored in psychoanalytic developmental theory and highlighted with the help of clinical vignettes. 

15.10 Discussion with Zack Eleftheriadou
15.30 Q&A with participants
16.00 End


8 March 2024
14:30 Narendra Keval- Impasse as Enactment: Shaping the Destiny of the Racial Moment 

Whilst it is in the nature of our clinical work that we will experience moments of impasse, these difficulties can become challenging to think about when they take the shape of a racialised moment. The different kinds of emotional predicaments and pressures they create makes it particularly difficult to listen with curiosity to some of the relational dangers associated with racial difference conveyed by the patient. Such moments can however become the place where the most crucial work can happen if it is possible to remain receptive enough to be emotionally affected but not infected to continue thinking, potentially shaping the destiny of the moment. 

15.10 Discussion with Zack Eleftheriadou
15.30 Q&A with participants
16.00 End


15 March 2024
14:30 Anthony Bass - Growth, Impasse, Analytic Change and the Changing Analyst - The Mutuality of Relations at the heart of Analytic Change

In this presentation Anthony Bass  will consider aspects of impasse, in therapies in which either therapist or patient comes to feel that they have reached a point of diminishing returns, or that the therapy has come to do more harm than good, from a two-person, intersubjective perspective that locates such problems and their possible solutions in therapist and patient mutually.  Therapy at such times requires working through of the problem from both sides, with special attention to the dialogue of unconsciouses between therapist and patient as a source of illumination. Psychoanalytic therapies, when they are most helpful, are processes of personal discovery for both participants. Therapist and patient come to know more about themselves as a function of their encounter with one another, and both participants change as a result.  Either patient or therapist may be the first to change, initiating an expansion of transitional space and therapeutic potential.  I will consider such moments and some ways in which I believe a therapist can use him or herself to re-initiate change, growth and healing in the patient, therapist and therapeutic couple that can make possible a resumption of genuinely affecting therapeutic work.  

15.10 Discussion with Zack Eleftheriadou
15.30 Q&A with participants
16.00 End

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