Acting out

Understanding the Ego, Super Ego and the Subject of the Unconscious

I recently returned from the Annual Training in Psychoanalysis in Quebec City, where we discussed the Clinic of the (Psychoanalytic) Symptom. There is something to be said about the culture in Quebec that allows psychoanalytic thought to flow freely and for the unconscious to express itself through the work of art and psychoanalysis. I am trying to make space for something similar through this blog.

A lot was said about the clinic of the symptom and the...


10 Questions about Psychoanalysis with Charles Turk, MD

Alright folks, as promised, I give you my 10 questions about psychoanalysis with one of my mentors, psychiatrist Charles Turk, who connected me to the training analysts of GIFRIC in Quebec City around 8 years ago, as well as to their extraordinary program for the treatment of young adults with psychosis. The center is named after its street address, Le 388, and I first visited it five years ago with Dr. Turk. I will talk more about...


The Psychoanalytic Symptom: Making Space for the Unconscious

Hello there. I am exactly three and a half days away from going to Quebec City for the Annual Training in Lacanian Psychoanalysis. I am so excited! It's almost always the same group of people, same place, same time. Five days of intense immersion in psychoanalytic text, concepts, thoughts, clinical material and case presentations, nicely framed with a welcoming cocktail at the beginning and a farewell dinner at the end. My dream come true!

This year, we...


Practical Psychoanalysis: A Year in Review

"Psychoanalysis" by Mihaela Bernard. Art plays an integral role in psychoanalysis and provides a way for the unconscious to find an esthetic expression in our culture. I made this collage with my daughter one day and you can find it framed, hanging in my bathroom.

When I first started this blog in February of last year, I wanted to write about psychoanalysis and make it accessible to a larger audience. I had the ambition...


Interview with Dr. Bruce Fink, author of “Clinical Introduction to Freud: Techniques for Everyday Practice”

I am very excited to share with you my interview with Dr. Bruce Fink, a Lacanian psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor, regarding his new book, "A Clinical Introduction to Freud: Techniques for Everyday Practice." I have followed Dr. Fink's work for quite awhile now; have read and reread a bunch of his books, including A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique, Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique: A Lacanian Approach for Practitioners, and The Lacanian Subject: Between...


How Does Psychoanalysis Work?

Someone recently told me that before coming to see me they thought that people laid on the couch when they go to therapy. "That's psychoanalysis," I replied. "Some people still do that."

How does psychoanalysis work exactly? In the last week, a few people asked...


5 Practical Applications of Castration You Can Use in Your Clinical Practice

"Castration Collage" by Mihaela Bernard

Okay, you've probably heard the word "castration" before and it was probably in the context of cutting some precious body parts off. If you google it, you'll stumble upon quite the gory images of cut off body parts, removed testicles, and mutilated animals.

That's not what castration is about in a psychoanalytic sense!

Even though the origin of the term does come from the idea of castrating, cutting off, the psychoanalytic meaning...

Break Ups

Do’s and Don’ts When Dealing with a Break-Up: Lessons from the Movie “Begin Again”

I just saw a great movie about dealing with loss and break-ups, Begin Again, and have been listening to the soundtrack over and over again for the past 24 hours. I had no idea that Keira Knightly was such a talented singer, and I certainly rediscovered my appreciation for Adam Lavine and his electrifying falsetto.

The movie touches on love, infidelity, loss, parenthood, music and creativity, but most importantly, it shows how to channel the energy of a broken heart into a creative gift for humanity....


The First Psychotherapy Appointment: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Did you know that the first therapy session is considered one of the most important sessions in the psychoanalytically-oriented therapeutic process? There is a saying that "the end is in the beginning" in our circles and under the right circumstances, we, psychoanalytic psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, pay special attention to those first few meetings.

Maybe that's why making it to the first appointment is also the hardest step for many people. I get plenty of inquiries about scheduling...


How Strong Relationships Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Back in March, I stumbled upon an interesting study one morning on CBS This Morning, addressing the question of “What makes a good life?” I had been thinking about my own clinical work and how many of my clients over the years have talked to me about their relationships. I knew I had to write a post about it and finally I got around to it.

Mental health issues are often related to dissatisfaction, dysfunction...