The topic for this online event, the third in the IARPP Colloquium Series, is an unpublished paper by Ruth Stein titled “Why Perversion?” The paper is being freely distributed to all IARPP Members (see instructions below).
In "Why Perversion" Ruth Stein explores the realm of perversion and perversity in a paper that will serve as the point of departure for our discussion in this, the third IARPP online colloquium. Stein takes up a term she knows and feels is controversial and brings her readers into a paradox that interests her. This term is necessary but compromised, useful but unstable. Our hope and hers is that the panelists and those of you who will be following and contributing to the discussion will enter this charged, contested and unstable place in order to engage with this most difficult and complex concept.
For Stein, "perversion" is a profoundly relational mode of experience, and one that is "relationally intentional" as well. An extended psychoanalytic case illustration serves as the centerpiece of this exposition of the perverse, in which Stein attempts to distinguish perversion from other forms of psychic life and relatedness for which it may be mistaken, and to define and delineate the multifaceted quality of perversion as it shapes, grips and distorts human relationships. The process is vividly portrayed in the unique form of magnification provided by the reactor-like transference/countertransference matrix in which a psychoanalytic process unfolds.
As Stein notes, her analyses of Alice illustrates some characteristics of a perverse structure, as well as processes that helped unpack and modify it. During these processes of dismantlement, components of perversion were coming apart, thereby revealing what it was made of.
Through this paper, Stein to invites us to enter the "perverse experience", to witness it and consider its nuances, its seductions and its dangers. In so doing, she offers us all an opportunity to deepen our grasp of this realm of experience, and to consider together how we might usefully live and work through such processes with our patients.
Because the term "perversion" is so loaded with history, with primary process, with morality and ideology and with clinical potency, we wanted to bring together a very wide ranging panel. This group is an exciting collection of thinkers and clinicians from quite distinct theoretical traditions, with different clinical practices and different ways of writing and communicating. Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Mark Blechner, Gilbert Cole, Muriel Dimen, Gerald Fogel, Jill Gentile, Joyce Mcdougall, Barbara Pizer, Charles Spezzano, Paul Williams, and Lynne Zeavin will address the issues raised by Ruth Stein's paper and no doubt the issues raised by the dialogue we hope to develop,
We invite you all to read "Why Perversion," and to participate actively with us in the discussion that will begin when our panelists begin posting their reflections on the paper on November 15.
The IARPP has convened a distinguished panel who will be gathering online for a three-week discussion of the various issues raised by this paper.
This discussion will begin on 11/15/03. We are especially delighted that Ruth Stein, the paper's author, will be participating and that Adrienne Harris and Anthony Bass have agreed to serve as the moderators for this online panel discussion. The panelists, selected specifically for this Colloquium, are Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Mark Blechner, Cynthia Dyess, Gilbert Cole, Muriel Dimen, Gerald Fogel, Jill Gentile, Joyce Mcdougall, Barbara Pizer, Charles Spezzano, and Lynne Zeavin
Members* of IARPP may access the paper and discussion using the following link: http://iarpp.net/archive/index.html.
The IARPP Colloquia Series is one of the many benefits of membership in IARPP. If you are not yet a member, click on the Membership area of this site for more information and an application.
* Please refer to the specific instructions that were sent to all IARPP members.
CE credit is available for Ph.D.s and MSW's. Information on how to process application for CE will be posted at the conclusion of the discussion.