Alumni Group Round Table Discussion Series

November 01, 2019 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

CFPS Library - 900 Lovett, Houston, TX 77006

Ghosts, Phantoms, and Ancestral Hauntings

Cynthia Lee, PhD

Our round table discussion today coincides with the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. El Dia de los Muertos spans from October 31st to November 2nd, when families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink, and celebration. As psychoanalysts, we have come to recognize that people may be haunted by the souls of their ancestors and the massive collective trauma that their ancestors experienced. In a classical paper from 1988, author Haydee Faimberg presented an evocative case study of a “deadened” patient illustrating the telescoping of generations, or the disavowed trauma unconsciously transmitted to children and grandchildren. Esther Rashkin further explored the phantom intergenerational transmission, which she illustrated with an example from a film. Finally, Michael Feldman utilized a relational approach with alterations in the frame to treat a patient with manic defenses against transgenerational trauma. Feldman reminded us that analysts must recognize and witness their own traumatic inheritance in order to effectively work with such patients.

CFPS Alumni Group invites you to join us from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm to discuss a selected paper.

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