Education & Events

“Clemency on the Way to the Gallows” – Dream Work, Trauma & Dissociation with Ken Kimmel, LMFT

“Clemency on the Way to the Gallows” – Dream Work, Trauma & Dissociation with Ken Kimmel, LMFT Date: 2021-01-09 10:00 to 12:30
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“Clemency on the Way to the Gallows” – Dream Work, Trauma & Dissociation with Ken Kimmel, LMFT

Saturday, January 9, 2021 10:00am to 12:30pm
via Zoom
Sponsored by: 

Please note the correct class date is January 9, 2021. 

The presenter’s paper illustrates a series of dreams emerging in the last year of a ten-year analysis with the survivor of long-term childhood sexual violence. Their dream work foreshadowed the potential collapse of traumatic and dissociative defenses, producing both the ‘re-membering of the unbearable,’ and a profound rearrangement of traumatic memories through the process that Freud called Nachträglichkeit.
The ensuing dreams revealed the possibility of a renewed future, freeing him from the obsessive longing to ‘submit to death’—what he believed to be the ultimate fantasy of freedom from life’s pain and suffering. The paper was originally presented at an international psychoanalytic conference on trauma and dissociation, and the dreams illuminate how his deluded pre-occupation with the role of ‘sacrificial lamb’ maintained the patient’s identity as his idealized mother’s savior.
Through introjection the patient was ensuring the safety of his own inner, ‘pristine child,’ hidden away in the frozen-reaches of his mind, bringing to mind Ferenczi’s patient, R.N. and her guardian angel. The collapse of this counterfeit system was provoked by primal, violent dreams and affects, from which, over time, life-giving agency and resilience could be observed.
Kenneth Kimmel is a Jungian analyst, psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in Seattle since 1983. He is a co-founding director and faculty member of “The New School for Analytical Psychology,” and author of the book, Eros and the Shattering  Gaze: Transcending Narcissism, (Fisher King Press, 2011). He chaired the “Seattle Inter-Institute Committee,” that provided cross-training experiences for candidates and analysts from Seattle’s various schools of psychoanalysis, engendering an ethos of mutual respect for their common ground and differences. Kenneth continues to embody that ethos in both writing, inter-disciplinary studies, and through the “New School” programs. He has taught and lectured widely throughout his career and is published in the Journal of Analytical Psychology, Fisher King Press, Jung Journal: Culture &  Psyche, Daimon Verlag, and Routledge, respectively. For the past twenty-five years, he has been a student of kabbalah, the mystical interpretation of Jewish tradition.
10:00am - 11:15  Introductions; Lecture/Powerpoint, "Clemency on the Way to the Gallows": Dream Work, Trauma & Dissociations; with group discussion and questions.
The presenter's clinical paper depicts the patient's series of dreams in their last year of work.
15 minute break
11:30am - 12:15 Case excerpt and discussion of Faimberg's "Telescoping of Generational Trauma."
Bion's concept of 'Intersubjective' Dreaming, (either asleep or awake), is the manifestation of thoughts too traumatic to 'dream' alone.  Its process underlies one scene in an analytic session with the grandson of Holocaust victims.
12:15pm - 12:30 Final questions; responses
Learning Objectives:
1. To illustrate how dreams may be of diagnostic clinical value in the recognition of repetitive patterns of internal defenses in trauma and dissociation;
2. To provide an understanding of the temporal relevance of dreams, and how they may ‘pierce the veil’ of trauma-induced, dissociative states, bringing about moments of re-membering, through Nachträglichkeit;
3. To demonstrate how dreams, as primary processes, and dream work, may bring into being emergent, primal—yet life-giving—affects that may ‘loosen’ the hold of so-called, ‘death drive’ defenses maintained in traumatic, borderline states;

4. To illustrate how the unconscious dynamics of projective identification (dreaming) in the analytic field facilitates mutual awareness of inter-generational trauma.

Fees: $60.00 for Alliance Members and $75 for Non-members
Class Size: Limited to 15 participants. 

Refund Policy: Refunds less a $10 handling fee will be given up until one week before the first class.

Contact Person: 
Ken Kimmel, LMFT
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