Thursday, September 22, 2022, 8:00pm-9:30pm

Darren Haber, Psy.D, MFT


A COMEDY OF TERRORS: Franz Kafka and a Vexing Case of Porn Addiction
A chapter from his newly published book: Addiction, Accommodation, and Vulnerability in Psychoanalysis: Circles Without a Center, Routledge, 2022

D. Bradley Jones, Psy.D., LCSW

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

This presentation draws upon the work of Franz Kafka in illustrating the dark ironies and absurdities of the compulsive use of pornography, as exemplified in a case study. In The Trial (Kafka, 1946), protagonist Josef K finds himself randomly arrested, searching in vain for the nature of the charges—an apt description for those struggling with compulsive behaviors and subsequent guilt or shame, most often in the wake of unrecognized early trauma. In “The Metamorphosis” (1948), we observe a young man whose transformation into a giant insect is somehow less monstrous than the indifference of his family, now regarding him as useless since he can no longer earn a living to support them. Gregor Samsa’s inability to accommodate family demands also typifies the relational world of patient James, in thrall to compulsive use of pornography as a buffer against his wife’s inflexible demands and criticisms. James’ inability to mitigate her scalding wrath, and my inability to mitigate the addiction that mitigates such injury, provokes a mutually-reinforcing dyadic shame and sense of failure, both of us caught in Kafkan confusion. It is as if we are both Josef K. In the end, recognizing my own archaic abandonments unrecognized by addictive caregivers, and a subsequent transference to James and his relational world, allows me to “lean in” rather than subtly detour around James’ anguish. Also helpful is co-exploring the affective function of his compulsivity, reducing shame and expanding dyadic illumination, with an easing of a mutualized “criminality.”


Virtual via Zoom
(Meeting link will be e-mailed to registered participants on the day of the event)


Darren Haber, Psy.D, MFT, is a graduate of The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis who practices in West Los Angeles.  He specializes in treating childhood trauma, addiction, and anxiety/depression. His book, Circles Without a Center: Addiction, Accommodation and Vulnerability in Psychoanalysis will be published in July 2022 by Routledge. He has also been published online at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Psychology Today, GoodTherapy.org, and the APA blog site. His articles have also appeared numerous times in  Psychoanalysis, Self and Context.  His website is www.therapistinlosangeles.com

D. Bradley Jones, Psy.D., LCSW is a Training and Supervising analyst at The Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity (IPSS) in NYC and the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP/LA) in Los Angeles, CA. He is currently on faculty at both institutes, and is on the coordinating committee of IPSS. A twice published author, Bradley’s work can be found in Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context. He has a special interest in working psychoanalytically with substance use and self harm, people in the performing arts, and with long term survivors of HIV infection. www.bradleyjones.com

*Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity (IPSS) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work and for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0175 and for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0097