A Heart Shattered and The Unlived Life

Masters Series in Clinical Practice 

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Conference Sponsors



Martha Stark, MD, Instructor

Patients who have never fully confronted – and grieved – the pain of their early-on heartbreak cling to their hope that perhaps, someday, the “object of their desire” will be forthcoming.  But there are others who, because of catastrophically shattering early-on disappointments and losses, withdraw from the “world of objects” – only to find themselves then overwhelmed with a terrifying sense of alienation, existential angst, and harrowing loneliness.  Instead of “relentless hope,” they experience “relentless despair.”  Clinical vignettes will be offered that speak to how the therapist, ever attuned to the patient’s intense ambivalence about “remaining hidden vs. being found,” can facilitate the emergence of “moments of authentic meeting” that will restore purpose, meaning, and direction to an existence that was otherwise desolate, impenetrable, and empty.

Specific Learning Objectives:

  1. Elaborate upon the patient’s intense ambivalence about “remaining hidden vs. being found”
  2. Explain the relevance of the concept of the patient’s “dread of surrender to resourceless dependence”
  3. Expound upon the importance of “moments of authentic meeting” as offering opportunity for restoring purpose, meaning, and direction to a life otherwise “unlived”

Program Code: MS103

Credits: 6 CE/CME

About The Masters Series

The Master Series affords the chance to spend a complete day with leaders in our field to consider the unique perspective each speaker brings to the challenging dilemmas in both theory and practice. We hope that you will consider joining us for the entire series or choose the programs most relevant to your own practice. You can visit our other Master Series offerings here.


  • When

  • Friday, June 22, 2018
    9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    Eastern Time

  • Where

  • William James College
    1 Wells Avenue
    Newton, Massachusetts 02459

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