Upcoming Events

A Discussion with Clara Mucci


“Embodied witnessing” for the highly traumatized patient: from Sandor Ferenczi to affective neuroscience


Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
7:00 p.m.  –  9:00 p.m.
Room A404 at 66 West 12th St, NY, 10011


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Sandor Ferenczi was the first in his time to highlight the necessity of a therapist who could be a “benevolent and committed witness” to the severely traumatized patients. Through the commitment and the bodily presence of the therapist, the fragmented patient can get in touch with his/her dissociated parts, regaining an emotional connection. He also indicated in the concept of “identification with the aggressor” the root of a dynamics that is the basis of the internalized victim-persecutor dyad, fundamental in borderline pathologies. In severe patients, in fact, guilt and aggressiveness (internalized in the victim because of the evil of the aggressiveness) are acted out either against the self or externalized against the other, or more interestingly against the body viewed as an other, a sort of alien self.

We will use these concepts to discuss cases in connection with a neuroscientific frame, in which the mind-body-brain of the two in the sessions are continuously at work in constant dynamics of reciprocal mirroring and enactments, working at the “regulatory edges” (as Allan Schore would say) of the patient’s tolerance. Abreaction, in fact, as Ferenczi used to say, “is not enough”, and an implicit new experience has to be imprinted through the reciprocal right brain connection.

***Dr. Mucci will be selling her new book, Borderline Bodies: Affect Regulation Therapy for Personality Disorders, after the event.***


Clara Mucci, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychology, Univ. of Chieti, Italy
Member, SIPP (Italian Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy)
Training analyst and supervisor of SIPeP-SF (Italian Society of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy – Sandor Ferenczi)
Member of the International Ferenczi Network