Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Steven H. Knoblauch, Ph.D

Dr. Almas MerchantDiscussant


What is phobogenesis? How does the phobogenic object fit into ideas of selfobject theory or Kleinian projection/introjection processes? Critical to present theory and practice is Fanon’s critique of the ideas coming from early theorists including Freud, Jung and Adler, particularly as his critique helps us to face into the challenges of considering race in psychoanalytic theory and practice as it shapes the subjective and intersubjective experience of both patients and analysts, both within the consulting space and in their personal and collective experience.

This discussion will center around a close reading of Fanon’s discussion of the dynamics and impact of phobogenesis on both subjects of whiteness and subjects of color. We will consider this contribution found in Fanon’s landmark text, Black Skin, White Masks and the direct implications his theoretical vision has for current work with patients of all racial, ethnic, religious, gendered and abled backgrounds. This presentation will be augmented with considerations coming from clinicians and theorists both within psychoanalysis and from outside our discipline, who have approached the implications of Fanon’s conceptualization in a variety of ways that can be helpful to clinicians in today’s current socio-politically charged contexts.


Virtual, via Zoom

(Zoom instructions and meeting link will be e-mailed to registered participants closer to the event)


Steven H. Knoblauch Ph.D. is Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University and faculty/supervisor at The Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity.  He also teaches and supervises from time to time at other institutes. He is author of The Musical Edge of Therapeutic Dialogue (2000), co-author with Beebe, Rustin and Sorter of Forms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Research and Adult Treatment, (2005), and author of Bodies and Social Rhythms: Navigating Clinical Vulnerability and Emotional Fluidity. (2020).  He serves on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, and Psychoanalysis, Self and Context. He is a former IARPP Board Member. For 17 years prior to entering psychoanalytic training Steven worked in Community Mental Health in various community based programs. He worked out of The Door A Center of Alternatives, a UN NGO based, internationally recognized ,model program for multidisciplinary service delivery to inner city adolescents. His roles there included clinician, supervisor and trainer/consultant to organizations globally from 1975 through 1988.

Dr. Almas (Ally) Merchant is a clinical psychologist at Sun River Health, a nonprofit agency providing integrative care to community members in New York City. Besides her clinical work, she is also the externship coordinator at Brightpoint Health, where she supervises students from doctoral programs in psychology. She is also a supervising psychologist at a private practice, Stress, Trauma Evaluation, and Psychological Services (STEPS). Currently, she is a candidate at NYU’s postdoctoral program in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate-level college courses and has contributed multiple presentations and publications in the fields of racial trauma, family dynamics, and the psychotherapy process. She is on the editorial board for the Sexuality and Gender Studies Journal, treasurer for the APCS, and an active member of APA’s Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology, where she serves as a co-chair on the Scholars committee for graduate students and early career professionals. Finally, she has recently been elected as Council Representative to APA at large for the Society.

1.5 Continuing Education Credits for Social Workers & LMHC’s* 

*Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0175.