Thursday, March 28th, 2019, 8:00pm — 9:30pm
Janna Sandmeyer, Ph.D.
Understanding Homophobia in our Forefathers: Rethinking How Kohut Actually Worked
Chuck Finlon, LCSW, Discussant
Jule Miller’s (1985) article entitled “How Kohut Actually Worked,” remains a valuable window into Kohut’s clinical perspective toward the end of his life. However, one disturbing element to the article is Kohut and Miller’s homophobic and heterosexist approach to the homosexual material as described by the patient in the patient’s experience of self. Understanding Kohut’s perspective on homosexuality is a complex undertaking, complicated by the intersection of the context of the times in which he lived, his experience of homosexuality in his personal life, and his theoretical positions. The purpose of this article is threefold: to highlight the clinical principles that exemplified Kohut’s way of thinking toward the end of his life, as communicated by Jule Miller, and to apply these same principles in a way that broadens exploration of the clinical material; to maintain the relevance of Miller’s classical article in the self psychology canon by offering a corrective for the damaging nature of the homophobic and heterosexist aspects of the article; and to combat psychoanalysis’ historic antipathy toward gay people, in an effort to make psychoanalysis accessible and appealing to people of diverse sexual identity. The author suggests three intricately entwined factors contributed to Kohut and Miller’s perspectives on the patient’s homosexual fantasy and desire: the time period in which the supervision occurred, a conjunction in the supervision, and Kohut and Miller’s personal reactions to the patient’s homosexual desires and behavior.
National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP)
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1.2 Continuing Education Credits for Social Workers & LMHC’s*
Dr. Janna Sandmeyer is the Chair of the Contemporary Approaches to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy program at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy + Psychoanalysis (ICP+P), where is she also the Co-Chair of the Sexual Diversity Task Force. She serves on the Editorial Board of Psychoanalytic Inquiry and as a reviewer for Psychoanalysis, Self and Context. She is faculty and supervisor at ICP+P and at the Washington School of Psychiatry and maintains a private practice in Washington, DC.
Chuck Finlon, LCSW is a supervisor and faculty member at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in New York, where he also president of the Board of Directors. He serves on the International Council for the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and is faculty at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work and the Minnesota Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. He is in private practice in New York City and Saugerties, NY.