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Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Trauma

On the Fragmentation and Restoration of the Human Soul

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Trauma

Friday, April 21 | 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

We human beings are all born into a world in which we have already been partially formed in our parents’ imagination. Their hopes, fears, and conflicts become the canvas from which we are allowed to emerge as individuals who are able to embody our own desires, speak them with our most authentic voices, and courageously author our own lives. When, however, our early experiences are flavored with extremes of intrusion or neglect—when there is a failure of containment and soothing—we experience loss. In fact, the speech of trauma is the speech of loss. Trauma ruptures and fragments meaning; it contracts the psyche and shrinks our existential possibilities. Trauma sets in motion a life lived in automatic, insistent, repetitive, obligatory and stereotyped ways; and, in living that life we become estranged from ourselves. With the shattering of our psychic identities, we develop an ontological insecurity that continually reminds us of our abandonment and cripples our capacity to narratively weave the pieces of our lives together into a coherent whole. Our ability to feel and speak is muted and hope recedes into the background.

This conference will explore how the experience of trauma, particularly relational trauma, shatters our “souls” and uncovers a history we have concealed from ourselves that is often responsible for the drama within which we have been but passive players. Starting from diverse theoretical perspectives—Freudian, Jungian, Lacanian, and Object-Relations—our speakers will discuss the nature and process of that therapeutic journey designed to help patients (across cultures) reclaim their desire, help transform their suffering, and secure greater freedom to speak and love in more deliberate and authentic ways.

Students, please bring proof of enrollment to the conference to verify your registration.


8:30 - 9 a.m.
Arrival, Registration, and Coffee

9 - 9:15 a.m.
Welcome Remarks, Dean Virginia Roach, Ed.D., and Amelio A. D'Onofrio, Ph.D.

9:15 - 10:15 a.m.
Psychotherapy’s Epic Journey: Descent, Dis-memberment, and Re-membrance
Betsy Hall, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Psychotherapy as Working Out Trauma: “Built On A Lie”: Perversion in an Everyday Subject and Donald Trump
C. Edward Robins, S.T.D., Ph.D.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Film Screening: Psychoanalysis in El Barrio

12:30 - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch will be provided

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
Conversion Disorder: Colonial Trauma and the "Souls" of the Barrio
Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D.

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Desire, Despair, and the Presence of an Absence: Relational Trauma and Therapeutic (Re-)Enactments
Amelio A. D'Onofrio, Ph.D.

3:30 - 4:20 p.m.
Panel Discussion

4:20 - 4:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks



$125 for professionals
$75 for students

Students will be asked to provide proof of enrollment at the conference.


McNally Amphitheatre
Fordham University
140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023

Continuing Education


Counselors: The Division of Psychological and Educational Services of the Fordham University Graduate School of Education has been approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4328. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Division of Psychological and Educational Services of the Fordham University Graduate School of Education is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This conference will offer 5.5 hours of Continuing Education.

Social Workers: Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service is recognized by The State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers - #0066. This conference will offer 5.5 hours of Continuing Education.


The Psychological Services Institute


Hosted by the Fordham University Graduate School of Education and the Division of Psychological and Educational Services and co-sponsored by the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service