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Information on Psychotherapy & Support Groups
1. Monthly Therapy and Support Group with Emphasis on the Individual Mourning, Grief, and Psychic Change Process: Opening Blocks to Love and Creativity (First Saturday of the month; September through June). Membership is limited, but will accept 1 new member starting September 2012. Please inquire by email at email@example.com .
For more information about the group and its structure - see below.
2. Monthly Group Supervision & Mentoring for Practicing Clinicians (meets First Friday of the month, 1:15-2:45pm; September through June) - accepts new members now (two practitioners can join at this time).
NEW - Virtual Group (via Internet, audio-video or audio) - Second Friday of the Month (September-June), 2:00-3:30 pm. Accepts new members.
All Mental Health practitioners are welcome!
3. Writing and Creative Process Group - will be formed as per inquiry, but individual writing and creative process consultations are available - contact Dr. Kavaler-Adler via email or phone
Monthly Supervision Group
In-person group - First Friday of the Month (Sept-June), 1:15-2:45 pm
Accepting New Members!Fee: $75/ month
Location: 115 East 9th Street (@3rd Ave.), Suite 12P, NYC, 10003
Virtual Group (via Go-to-Meetings; Internet/ audio-video or audio communication) -Second Friday of the Month (Sept-June), 2:00-3:30 pm
Accepting New Members! Fee: $75/ month
In this monthly group (in-person or virtual), group supervision is combined with experiential role-playing, as well as with Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s own teachings on object relations theory as applied to clinical and developmental processes. Members of the group benefit from explanations of concepts related to borderline, schizoid and narcissistic character disorders, distinguishing between splitting, projective identification, and neurotic modes of blocked affect and blocked psychic fantasy, due to repression and unconscious psychic conflict.
During the role-play, Dr. Kavaler-Adler takes the role of the psychotherapist, allowing the presenting group member to experience the process of being “inside the skin” of the patient. This allows the group member who is presenting a case process to feel his/her patient from the inside out, while this allows other group members to vividly experience the presented case, so that their own thoughts and feelings can become part of the dialogue about the process with the patient. Objective and subjective forms of countertransference are discussed. References to readings in the psychoanalytic and object relations literature are offered.
As the group discusses the presentations and role-plays, Dr. Kavaler-Adler breaks down theoretical and clinical concepts and teaches them. She helps participants utilize practically the concepts of “projective-identification,” therapist's “object survival,” the analyst as a “psychic container,” “the holding environment,” “primitive” vs. neurotic transferences, “primal envy” and its manifestation in treatment, “the transformational object,” “object internalization,” “objective vs. subjective countertransference,” empathy developing through the Winnicottian “capacity for concern” and Kleinian “depressive position,” capacity to process loss, and “existential guilt,” self-sabotage related to “unconscious loyalties” to patient's internal parental objects, “the true self,” and “the capacity to be alone,” as well as such challenging topics as developmental mourning, envy, and erotic transference.
Other topics will include (but not limited to):
· The Therapist-Analyst as Clinical Instrument: Processing Clinician’s Internal Experience
· Countertransference: Old and new perspectives. Objective countertransference as a clinical tool: How does it differ from subjective countertransference?
· What is projection and what is projective identification? How do we process projections and projective identification, and why?
· What developmental disruptions cause the dissociative phenomena that become projective identification as opposed to projection that is based on a core integrated self and repression?
· Why is the key role of the processing of projective identification not understood? What scares people about the concept of projective identification?
· Clinical moment as a hologram of patient’s internal and external world.
Individual supervision (case-by-case or on-going)- is available via video- and audio- conferencing.
Email to DrKavalerAdler@Gmail.com or call Dr. Kavaler-Adler at 212-674-5425
(This group is full, but will have one opening in September 2012)
1st Saturday of the month,
September through June
Location: 115 East 9th Street, 12P (corner of 3rd avenue), NY, NY 10003
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a break at 2:00 p.m. for refreshments and socializing. Fee: $130/ month
This group meets for an intensive therapy period, once a month for four hours, for ten months of the year (excluding July and August). As one members of this group has previously said, “I have to be able to love in order to create.” By dealing with individual life losses in the support of a group, individual group members are able to navigate past blocks, resistances, and psychic conflicts that have held them back in their life.
With Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler as the group leader, who has a specialty in grief, mourning, and the opening up of blocks to creativity and love, group members can face feeling states that were formerly intolerable to them and move forward to face their anger and their losses, with the result of re-opening capacities to love and to create.
group meeting begins with a psychic visualization led by Dr. Kavaler-Adler.
This allows participants to come in contact with their internal
worlds before they enter the external, interpersonal world of the group.
Everyone closes their eyes and breathes deeply as Dr. Kavaler-Adler
helps the individuals in the group to tune into who they wish to speak to
in their inner worlds.
Participants conger up mothers, fathers, husbands, past lovers,
siblings etc., and begin to speak to them as they visualize them in their
They then see if these “others,” who they carry with them in
their minds and psyches can respond to what they have to say to them.
They listen and wait for a response, while still breathing deeply,
with eyes closed.
They then respond back and see what their heart has to say to the person who appears in their minds, as well as what their stomachs might need to express. Over time, the visualization process may lead to a whole evolution of reparative relationship with the “others” who appear to them. Some participants become aware of their anger through the psychic visualizations. Often their anger is followed by sadness, forgiveness and compassion, as consciousness of anger transforms it. Many acknowledge yearnings and regrets that have long been buried during the visualization. The “others” within each individual’s internal world may evolve into people that can be related to, even when they had formerly been alienated. This is often due to the expression of formerly repressed anger.
After everyone opens their eyes following the visualization, the floor is open for those who wish to share their visualization experience with the group members. This sharing period opens all kinds of empathic engagements between group members. The individual who shares is deeply listened to and responded to by the others group members. Over time, each group member’s life- long psychological journey is revealed, while the internal others, who have haunted them in the past, are confronted and relinquished. This is a journey of mourning and grief. It includes becoming conscious of rage, anger, sadness, loss and love. Such consciousness frees each individual to move- on to re-own the parts of themselves that have been lost by having been regressively tied to unresolved conflicts and unspoken thoughts. The unresolved conflicts and unspoken thoughts can be resolved and spoken.
Group members can also trigger reactions in each other that relate to significant figures in each participant’s past, those who symbolically inhabit their internal worlds. Each group member can gain insight into their reflexive and self- sabotaging reactions as they see them played out with fellow group members. One person may prompt the reaction in another that relates back to a parent who they still feel engaged with in their minds. As the internal conflict is engaged in in the safe laboratory of the group meeting the hidden agendas of each person and their internal “others” can be brought to light. Insight and conscious awareness then allows the group member to let go of self- sabotaging modes of relationship that hold them back. As old modes of relationship are surrendered, new energies open to allow passion and involvement in the intimacy of the group relationships, which opens energy for intimacy and creativity in their daily lives with important others.
Group members become expert mourners, who can process all their feelings and thoughts, so that they need not be stuck and blocked in their life experience. When psychic regrets are faced, unfulfilled aspects of each person’s personality can begin to unfold. When losses are faced, as old modes of relationship are relinquished, regrets can also be faced and learned from. Then new modes of love and creativity naturally and organically arise. The group then profoundly validates and affirms the new potential in each individual as they are born and evolve.
Please call Dr. Kavaler-Adler at (212) 674-5425 or email her at DrKavalerAdler@gmail.com for more information on this group.
Please, inquire about forming a new group:
The Writing and Creative Process Group
Dr. Kavaler-Adler has led writing and creative process groups in her practice for more than twenty-two years in a twenty-eight year psychoanalytic psychotherapy practice. Her groups are unique in that they serve a dual role. They not only help participants receive feedback with actual writing and other creative projects, or with professional writing; but they also serve a therapeutic role in helping participants to gain insight into obstacles and blocks that are prohibiting them from doing the writing (or painting, or acting, or dancing, etc.) that they have always dreamed of doing.
Anyone who wishes to write can participate in this group. However, group membership is limited to six people, so that three out of six can get individual 30 minute turns during every group, on a group rotation basis. Those on a waiting list can be admitted to the group if the group’s six places are currently filled. Also, individual consultations are available on writing projects or on the writing process or the creative process itself.
All kinds of writing and creativity are welcome. Members of Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s writing groups have worked on poetry, plays, memoirs, fiction, short stories, novels, non-fiction books, professional journal articles and professional books, and on dissertations and psychoanalytic institute papers, etc. Sometimes it is only within the group itself that the individual finds which kind of writing they are truly interested in. A new sense of curiosity and intrigue can open up within the course of the group itself, as an “in the moment” experience emerges when the individual speaks to the group about his/her feelings and thoughts. They speak of long frustrated yearnings to write (create). They examine their conflicts around their wishes to write (create). They define the obstacles, resistances, and blocks that result from these conflicts, which left undefined had been holding them back. Through such “in the moment” experience and insight in the group, each group member learns how writing only becomes alive and offers pleasure to the writer when the writing process is one of “in the moment” opening up, as opposed to transferring some mental agenda onto the page (or computer screen). The writing group process can mirror the writing process in terms of the “in vivo” experience and effects.
Members of these groups also get to know each other in depth, learning about each others’ biography and of the personal struggles that each person faces as they deal with fears of exposing self expression. “In the beginning was the word,” is said in the Bible, and it is truly a life giving process when the individual finds the “word,” the apt words to express the deeper life that lies within them, including all the frustration and rage that they have had to keep secret. Now they can find new words and metaphors to express all the most poignant, tragic, and mundane aspects of life. As writing group members share this journey of the inner soul and spirit together, they open up to the resonant tune of others who are exposing themselves. They also find that the personal scripts they carry with them (often unconsciously), related to early dramas and deprivations with their childhood parents.
All writing group members have poignant and distinct stories about what holds them back as creative and “in the moment” evolving human beings. They hear each others stories and feel empathy and compassion. They then have to learn to have empathy and compassion for themselves. They see themselves in the stories of others. They are able to decipher the unique human being speaking to them in the group. As they get to know the others in the group they become increasingly free to offer critiques of the others work and to offer observations about the psychological dynamics that both propel and inhibit the other. They adopt certain understanding from Dr. Kavaler-Adler, the group leader, who is a writer and published author herself. This enables them to see how resistances to feeling and defining anger, loss, tenderness and vulnerability can all inhibit love. They learn also that love is required for creativity to emerge. Often the mourning process is part of opening up each writing group member’s creative process. Mourning involves facing painful feelings of rage, anger, shame, envy, and loss, so that the defenses against these feeling states can be relinquished, freeing up the avenues to the progressive life expression of love and creativity. Every group member speaks about the internal mother they carry with them in a psychological sense, and reaches out to the group to provide certain nurturing mother capacities, such as those of offering recognition and affirmation. Then the negative aspect of the internal mother can be surrendered.
For an article on the evolving mother biography of each person in one of Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s writing group, you may be interested in reading her article in Group (1993), Vol. 16 (1): 47-58, entitled “An Object Relations View of Creative Process and Group Process."
Another article of Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s on her psychoanalytic psychotherapy writing group, as it can interact with participation in her therapeutic mourning group appeared in Issues in Group Psychotherapy, in 2000, Fall, Vol. 4 (1). It is entitled, “Anatomy of Regret and Reparation: Resolution of Transference Resistances Through the Combined Use of a Writing and Creative Process Group and a Mourning Regrets Group.”
Writing and creativity can be a lonely process. The psychoanalytic psychotherapy writing group of Dr. Kavaler-Adler helps a lonely process to become a shared one. Capacities for new forms of intimacy develop in this group as intimacy between members develops and forges new ground. Trust can develop in a group that meets over time, with a small group membership.
This dramatically differs from writing workshops and writing classes. Often members have come to Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s writing groups who have been wounded by experiences in writing workshops and classes. Short- term workshops and classes do not allow time for individual participants to discuss their subjective experience or any of their free feelings and thoughts as they struggle with their own process. In contrast to this supportive psychotherapeutic writing group, in writing classes there is only time to read a work in progress and to get feedback from others who are essentially strangers. In an atmosphere of strangers rather than intimates, cutting and callous attacks can sometimes take place in the guise of constructive criticism. The wounds that result can never be discussed in such workshops or classes.
In Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s writing group, everyone can respond to those offering them feedback and critiques. There is time for each person to express what most moves them in a piece, not just offering technical advice. There is time for each member to relate what moves them in the current presenter’s piece to who that person is, as they have come to know this person. After a period of getting to truly know the presenter, they can help the presenting group member to understand what they may wish to express, beyond what the presenter is aware of. If anyone’s feedback feels hurtful and fails to be constructive criticism, or isn’t taken as such, this can be discussed. The journey of the group evolves over time, as does the journey of each individual within the group.
Painters have also been successful using the format of this creative process group, presenting slides of paintings, and then discussing both the paintings and their own subjective state at the time of doing the painting with the members of the group. Another article describes one female painter’s growth in self- integration and feminine self- development through her participation in Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s creative process group, with others wishing to express themselves through writing. It is entitled, “The Divine, the Deviant and the Diabolical: A Journey Through An Artist’s Paintings During Her Participation in a Creative process Group: An Evolution of Developmental Mourning.” This article appeared in The International Forum of Psychoanalysis (2000).
Those exploring other art forms would also be welcome. Dr. Kavaler-Adler herself is not only a writer and psychoanalyst, but also an Argentine Tango dancer and former dance therapist, who understands dancers in their creative process, as well as writers and painters. Dr. Kavaler-Adler participates in offering feedback to members in the group, as well as helping the communication process between members, and in addition using her psychoanalytic abilities to understand and interpret resistances, projections, and transferences, that may hold members back from fulfilling their paths of creative inspiration.
***Over 35 years Experience in Psychoanalytic/ Psychodynamic/ Object Relations Psychotherapy with Individuals, Couples, and Groups, while utilizing unique approaches to working with: ***Depression, ***Anxiety & Fears, ***OCD, ***Loss, Grief, & Mourning, ***Self-Sabotage/ Abandonment & Separation, ***Guilt & Shame, ***Trauma & PTSD, ***Relationship & Betrayal Issues, ***Divorce/ Domestic Abuse & Violence, ***Dissociative Disorders, ***Elderly Persons Disorders, ***Gay Lesbian Issues, ***Parenting issues, ***Blocked Creativity, ***Spirituality, ***Personality Disorders & Borderline Personality. ***Supportive therapeutic groups: Self-Sabotage, Fear of Success, & Fear of Envy; Developmental Mourning; and Creative Healing Writing. *** Group supervision for Mental Health practitioners: Utilizing the Object Relations approach in therapy, and Envy issues in personal and professional life of therapists.***Additional modalities utilized: Guided Psychic Visualization, Creative Writing, Life Coaching, and Dance Therapy.
Contact Dr. Kavaler-Adler: call 212-674-5425 or email DrKavalerAdler@gmail.com
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