Judith Mitrani: Unraveling, Crumbling and Spilling-Out:
Unmentalized Experience, The Second Skin and The Transgenerational Roots of a Somatic Syndrome
Donnerstag, 10.10.2013, 20.15-22.00
WPV, Salzgries 16/3, 1010 Wien
In this paper, Dr. Judith Mitrani presents detailed clinical material, spanning several years, demonstrating the process by which one analysand lead the way to discovering the transgenerational roots of a somatic syndrome related to a second skin (Bick), as well as to the development of a pathological organization (Rosenfeld). During the analysis, the patient’s experiences of unraveling, crumbling to pieces and spilling-out may be seen as similar to those that Frances Tustin encountered in her work with autistic children as they emerged from their protective shells in analysis. Dr. Mitrani also suggests that, when primitive protections are built into the character, they form the foundation upon which more sophisticated omnipotent defenses –- on the level of both conscious and unconscious fantasy – may be superimposed, and she demonstrates how, through the analytic process, somatic symptoms may become circumstantially delineated rather than remaining haphazard, and that these symptoms as well as significant character pathology can be transformed through a transference/countertransference-centered analytic experience.
Judith L. Mitrani, Ph.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. A Fellow of the International Psycho-Analytical Association, she has published numerous papers in the area of primitive mental states in both international and American peer-reviewed journals, and her work has been translated in seven languages. She is the author of the books Framework for the Imaginary: Clinical Explorations in Primitive States of Being (1996, second edition 2008) and Ordinary People and Extra-Ordinary Protections: a Post-Kleinian Approach to the Treatment of Primitive Mental States (2001), and is also co-editor -- with her analyst/husband Dr. Theodore Mitrani -- of the book Encounters with Autistic States: A Memorial Tribute to Frances Tustin (1997) and the upcoming two-volumes Frances Tustin Today. She is the founding and current Chair of the Frances Tustin Memorial Trust, and supervises and lectures internationally on topics related to the treatment of autistic states in adults and psychoanalytic technique with the infantile transference. Her clinical and theoretical perspectives derive predominantly from the work of Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, Donald Winnicott and of course Frances Tustin's work on autistic states. She is in private practice of psychoanalysis with adults in West Los Angeles, California.