Salman Akhtar, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has served on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Psychoanalytic Quarterly. His more than 300 publications include 86 books, of which the following 18 are solo-authored: Broken Structures (1992), Quest for Answers (1995), Inner Torment (1999), Immigration and Identity (1999), New Clinical Realms (2003), Objects of Our Desire (2005), Regarding Others (2007), Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy (2009), The Damaged Core (2009), Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (2009), Immigration and Acculturation (2011), Matters of Life and Death (2011), The Book of Emotions (2012), Psychoanalytic Listening (2013), Good Stuff (2013), Sources of Suffering (2014), No Holds Barred (2016), and A Web of Sorrow (2017). Dr. Akhtar has delivered many prestigious invited lectures including a Plenary Address at the 2nd International Congress of the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders in Oslo, Norway (1991), an Invited Plenary Paper at the 2nd International Margaret S. Mahler Symposium in Cologne, Germany (1993), an Invited Plenary Paper at the Rencontre Franco-Americaine de Psychanalyse meeting in Paris, France (1994), a Keynote Address at the 43rd IPA Congress in Rio de Janiero, Brazil (2005), the Plenary Address at the 150th Freud Birthday Celebration sponsored by the Dutch Psychoanalytic Society and the Embassy of Austria in Leiden, Holland (2006), the Inaugural Address at the first IPA-Asia Congress in Beijing, China (2010), and the Plenary Address at the National Meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association (2017). Dr. Akhtar is the recipient of numerous awards including the American Psychoanalytic Association's Edith Sabshin Award (2000), Columbia University's Robert Liebert Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychoanalysis (2004), the American Psychiatric Association's Kun Po Soo Award (2004) and Irma Bland Award for being the Outstanding Teacher of Psychiatric Residents in the country (2005). He received the highly prestigious Sigourney Award (2012) for distinguished contributions to psychoanalysis. In 2013, he gave the Commencement Address at graduation ceremonies of the Smith College School of Social Work in Northampton, MA. Dr. Akhtar's books have been translated in many languages, including German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Spanish, and Turkish. A true Renaissance man, Dr Akhtar has served as the Film Review Editor for the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and is currently serving as the Book Review Editor for the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. He has published 9 collections of poetry and serves as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.

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Approved for 15 Clinical hours by NJ ASWB.

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Salman Akhtar

Bad Stuff: Fear, Greed, Shame, Hatred, and Guilt
August 20-24, 2018

This set of presentations will address some unpleasant and distressing emotions that are frequently encountered in the clinical situation. These include fear, greed, shamelessness, hatred, and guilt. Each day of the workshop will be devoted to one of these emotions. Descriptive, developmental, and dynamic aspects of each will be explored and sociocultural and clinical illustrations will be provided. The aim is to enhance empathy with individuals experiencing these affects and to improve therapeutic strategies in helping them cope with the accompanying distress.


Fear: This session will focus upon fear, categorize its intensities, and trace its developmental origins.  Similarities and differences between fear and anxiety will be addressed, while showing how the two co-exist in the state of phobia.  Comment will also be made upon fearlessness, counterphobia, courage, and cowardice. A brief foray into the cultural realm will demonstrate how the unpleasant emotion of fear can be turned into the excitement of horror movies, gothic literature, and thrill-seeking games while, on the negative side of things, forming a part of ethno-racial prejudice and political oppression.  Returning to the clinical realm, the presence of fear in the transference-countertransference matrix and the strategies to deal with the resulting problems will be discussed.


Greed: This session will elucidate the phenomenological aspects of greed, categorizing its manifestations into primary, secondary, and defensively-altered types.  Diverse perspectives on the childhood origins of greed will be highlighted.  After a brief foray into the cultural realm, the presentation will focus upon the appearance of greed in the clinical situation.  The greed of both the patient and the analyst and their occasional dialectical relationship will also be discussed.


Shame: This session will delineate the subjective experience of shame and distinguish it from guilt, on a number of variables. It will also address the inadequately investigated phenomenon of shamelessness. Five kinds of shamelessness will be described, (i) development-based, (ii) defense-based, (iii) discharge-based, (iv) defect-based, and (v) dignity-based. Sociocultural observations and clinical illustrations will highlight the appearance and handling of shame and shamelessness in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.


Hatred: This presentation will focus upon the phenomenon of hatred.  Its origins and manifestations will be outlined and their complex relationship with envy and arrogance will be discussed.  Various forms of hatred, including self-loathing and masochism, will be highlighted and attempts will be made to forge links between these phenomena and types of character organization.  The manifestation of hatred within the clinical situation will then be approached with attention to the hateful transferences (e.g. schizoid, psychopathic, and paranoid) of the patient as well as the countertransference malice and aversion of the analyst.  With the help of clinical vignettes, interpretive approaches to hatred in the clinical situation will be elucidated.


Guilt: The subjective nature of guilt will be described.  Origins of guilt in preoedipal (Klein) and oedipal (Freud) phases will be highlighted.  Other, specific origins, e.g. separation guilt (Modell), induced guilt (Asch), deposited guilt (Volkan), and survivor guilt (Niederland) will also be discussed.  Indirect manifestations of guilt (e.g. fear) and defenses against guilt (e.g. hatred) will be brought up, as will the factors that transform guilt into persecutory and/or reparative attitudes.  Psychopathological variants and technical interventions to deal with guilt will be delineated. 

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We are delighted to welcome Salman Akhtar back to the Institute!

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