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Online Colloquia:

Colloquium 4

Title: "Masochism, Submission, Surrender: Masochism as a Perversion of Surrender"
Paper: "Masochism, Submission, Surrender: Masochism as a Perversion of Surrender"
Running Dates: November 4, 2004
Author: Emmanuel Ghent
Moderators: Spyros Orfanos and Peggy Crastnopol
Panel: Anthony Bass, Dodi Goldman, Adrienne Harris, Mark Epstein, Stuart Pizer, Jeremy Safran, David Scharff, and Paul Williams

Why do psychoanalysts re-read certain articles? What are the needs they feel and the qualities they seek in engaging with a particular text? What makes a classic article worth a fresh look? These questions reverberated in our minds as we selected for this fourth IARPP online seminar Emmanuel Ghent's "Masochism, Submission, Surrender." A well-known and oft-cited piece, this paper has widely influenced many of our clinical theories and technique since its publication. Beyond affecting us intellectually, Ghent's paper has touched our hearts and souls.

The author labored for six years on the manuscript before he submitted it for publication in 1989. The first draft was presented at New York University's Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis to a large audience in 1983. Its publication in 1990 followed on the heels of "Credo: The Dialectics of One-Person and Two-Person Psychologies" published the year before. Of the two articles, "Masochism, Submission, Surrender' is probably the greater masterwork -- masterly in that it is highly informative, inspiring, and has widespread reverberations. While less personal than "Credo," it offers a nuanced and crucial distinction between submission and surrender experiences and it places into polylogue a range of topics from clinical psychoanalysis to cognitive processes.

We have assembled an impressive list of panelists to amplify Ghent's thinking and to add their own from varying, fertile perspectives. They are Anthony Bass, Dodi Goldman, Adrienne Harris, Mark Epstein, Stuart Pizer, Jeremy Safran, David Scharff, and Paul Williams (who will join shortly via an email posting to you). We hope that with their brief papers and member contributions from all of us around the world, the wisdom of selecting this article will become self-evident, and we'll deepen our understanding of the rich range of human life Ghent explores.

With the passing of Emmanuel Ghent in 2003 the psychoanalytic community lost a unique spirit that directly and indirectly influenced the course of relational theory and practice. Ghent possessed a gentle voice and an unmatched vitality. His first-rate mind and his big heart opened doors for countless of psychoanalytic creators. His vision was of converging lines of inquiry that would ultimately lead to a glorious understanding of the relations among phenomena. At the first IARPP conference in 2002 he declared, "There is no such thing as a relational theory, but there is such a thing as a relational point of view, a relational way of thinking, a relational sensibility, and we believe that it is this broad outlook that underpins the sea change that many of us recognize as breathing fresh life into our field."

Join us as we examine the further implications Ghent's thinking has for our current life and times and our clinical practice. We await your comments, observations, and questions.

The National Institute for the Psychotherapies Training Institute (NIP TI) is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. NIP TI maintains responsibility for the program.

CE Credits: 5

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.