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Psychic Trauma with Candace Orcutt, PhD
Virtual Webinar Presented by NJI

Wednesdays, Oct. 20, Nov. 3, Nov. 17, Dec. 8 & Dec. 22, 2021
7:00 – 8:45 P.M. ET

$210 for Six Session Webinar
$40 per individual session

CE Credits: 1.75 NBCC approved clock hours for counselors.
10.5 NBCC approved clock hours for Six Session Webinar.

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Psychoanalysis and the understanding of psychic trauma evolved together. Originating in the treatment of the adult hysterical response to sexual abuse in childhood, psychoanalysis has widened its scope to address still broader social issues including war trauma and PTSD, and personality disordered by often subtle but cumulative traumatic relationship in the formative years.
Psychic trauma – the dissociative closing-off of the mental processing of an emotionally overwhelming experience – will be reviewed as a central issue of psychoanalysis: historically, theoretically and clinically. The growth of therapeutic thought and practice will be traced through the work of such originators as Freud and Breuer, Fairbairn, Winnicott, van der Kolk, Putnam, Bromberg and Schore. Case material will be introduced and discussed throughout.

October 6: Introduction – Trauma and Dissociation

Definition; history
Technique: hypnosis; talking; free association; interpretation; catharsis


  • Define the meaning of trauma and dissociation as concepts
  • Learn the historical origin of psychoanalysis and its relationship to trauma
  • Learn the first therapeutic approaches to the healing of trauma

October 20: Overt Trauma and Collective Dissociation

Child sexual abuse; combat trauma; PTSD. Social denial and warehousing
Abreaction vs. containment. Brief approaches, medication


  • Define the major social challenges presented by demonstrably traumatic situations
  • Learn the historically inconsistent social management of child abuse
  • Learn the historically intermittent social recognition of combat trauma; of PTSD
  • Learn the variety of treatments used for overt trauma: medication, non-verbal, short-term
  • Consider the balance between opening up and closing down traumatic recollection

November 3: “Forgotten” Trauma and Individual Dissociation

Trauma “hiding” in symptoms, behavior, patterns of relating, “missing” history
Transference, countertransference; what to treat and how?


  • Treatment as a potential repetition of the trauma
  • Learn to identify trauma when it cannot be consciously recalled by the individual patient
  • Identify the symptoms, behavior, relational patterns, “forgetting” that suggest the presence of trauma in the patient’s history
  • Identify how trauma manifests itself in the therapeutic relationship, including the therapist’s reaction as well as the patient’s presentation
  • Understand the dynamic reason the relationship in the treatment may become unintentionally traumatic

November 17: Trauma and Character – Psychic Interaction
Cumulative, relational, and developmental trauma
Psychic separation as the fundamental trauma
Developmental arrest vs. deficit disorder? Character first


  • Learn how even a subtly dysfunctional relationship in childhood may have a traumatic effect
  • Learn how this interpersonal dysfunction in childhood may distort the development of personality
  • Learn how the normal childhood growth toward separation and independence may become traumatic
  • Learn the necessity to strengthen the patient emotionally before addressing trauma

December 8: Trauma and the Self – Psychic Structure and Relationship
Neuropsychology – traumatic attachment vs. “right brain” synchronicity
“Countertransference” as an agent of healing
Self-states and MPD/DID


  • Learn how neurobiological studies are reinforcing psychological understanding of psychic trauma
  • Understand how brain studies stress the importance of mother-infant “attunement”
  • Understand how mental “attunement” between patient and therapist can become an agency of healing
  • Learn how contemporary concepts of the brain and of therapeutic experience combine to give a new understanding of how the mind is constructed

December 22: From Symptom to Self – Trauma and the Whole Patient
Trauma-work parallel and intertwined with the growth of psychoanalysis:
From a detached study of the patient’s inner world to a collaborative understanding of the individual’s need for social authenticity.


  • Learn how the understanding of trauma has contributed to the growth of psychoanalysis, which in turn has led to an improved treatment of trauma
  • Learn how increased knowledge of trauma and how to treat it has led to a more profound understanding of the development of the individual mind, and the need for relationship with another for that development
  • Learn how this increased knowledge of the importance of relationship has led psychoanalysis toward becoming a mutual, two-person process addressed to the patient as a potentially whole, social person

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Candace Orcutt, MA, Ph.D., social worker and psychoanalyst, serves on the faculty of the New Jersey Institute for Training in psychoanalysis, and the emeritus faculty of the International Masterson Institute. For twenty years, she was an associate of James F. Masterson, MD, as he pioneered in the study and treatment of personality disorder, and she contributed focal work on trauma to his Approach. Under the auspices of the International Masterson Institute, she has taught and lectured in the United States, Canada, Turkey, and South Africa. Her publications have appeared in anthologies edited by Dr. Masterson, as well as in numerous periodicals, including The International Review of Psycho-Analysis, The International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, and Social Casework. She is author of a book, Trauma in Personality Disorder: A Clinician’s Handbook issued in both English and Turkish, and The Unanswered Self: The Masterson Approach to the Healing of Personality Disorders, just published by Karnac.

If you have any questions, please call Richard Alperin, Ph.D., at (201) 321-6623.

NJI is an NBCC approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved CE’s for events that meet NBCC requirements. ACEP No.5822. NJI is soley responsible for all aspects of this program.

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