Thursday, November 7th, 2019
Sam Guzzardi, LCSW

Adrienne Harris, Ph.D. – Discussant

Nicki Nicholas Nicole, Sam Samuel Samantha: Playing Intersubjectively on the Transgender Edge.

This presentation will describe psychoanalytically-informed clinical work with a patient who, borrowing a term from psychoanalyst Griffin Hansbury, occupies space in and around the “transgender edge.”  Through the presentation and analysis of several extended excerpts of verbatim process from the treatment, it will be argued that therapist-patient play, conceptualized here as a fundamentally intersubjective phenomenon, was the primary driver of the patient’s progress towards coming to terms with his gender experience.  Alongside questions of play, intersubjectivity, and therapeutic action, this presentation will also address the expanding understanding of gender within the psychoanalytic literature.  Building on the work of Adrienne Harris, the utility of play in making psychoanalytic meaning of softly assembled gender states-both with regard to masculinity and femininity as well as with regard to cisness and transness-will be explored.


The Theater at 244 Rehearsal Studios
244 West 54th Street
10th Floor

Sam Guzzardi, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice and psychoanalytic candidate at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity (IPSS).  Trained at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and at the Yale Child Study Center, Sam maintains a practice in New York City where he focuses on issues of gender, sexuality, identity, trauma and grief.  Sam holds adjunct faculty appointments at the schools of social work at Fordham University and Hunter College.  In 2018, Sam’s paper “’The only fag around’: Twinship needs in gay childhood” won the Candidate Award of the Psychology, Self, and Context journal.  His first published paper, “Digital collisions: Crashing into a patient online” was featured in the 2019 issue of The Candidate Journal. 

Adrienne Harris, Ph.D. is Faculty and Supervisor at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is on the faculty and is a supervisor at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. Adrienne is an Editor at Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and Studies In Gender and Sexuality, and She, Lewis Aron, and Jeremy Safran established the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School University.  Dr. Harris, Lew Aron, Eyal Rozmaren and Steven Kuchuck co-edit the Book Series Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis, and is an editor of the IPA ejournal, which is developing cross cultural communications among the five language groups in the IPA.  Dr. Harris has written on topics in gender and development, analytic subjectivity and self-care, primitive states, and the analytic community in the shadow of the First World War. Her current work is on analytic subjectivity, intersectional models of gender and sexuality, and ghosts.