The Superego and Therapeutic Technique

Tuesday 21st February

The Superego and Therapeutic Technique
Paul Terry

Problems with the superego can frequently underlie issues brought to and enacted in counselling and psychotherapy, and may unwittingly affect the therapist’s approach either through fear of the client’s superego or because the therapist’s own superego has been mobilised in the counter-transference. I will discuss problems of the superego because of its severity either from an archaic superego which resurfaces in paranoid schizoid states of mind, or from an enduring destructive superego often linked with early difficulties in containment; and because of its relationship with the ego, when the superego dominates the ego. I will examine some clinical material illustrating the freeing of the ego from the tyranny of an envious superego and discuss the implications of these insights for technique particularly in the formulations of interpretations.

About the Speaker

Paul Terry is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS. He was a Lecturer in Counselling at Birkbeck where he was involved in the development of the MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling, the Certificate Counselling Courses and the Foundation degree in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy. He has worked as a Student Counsellor in higher education, and as a psychologist in child, adolescent, adult and forensic mental health services. He is currently working with older adults and in 2008 published a revised 2nd edition of his book Counselling and Psychotherapy with Older Adults: A psychodynamic approach (Palgrave Macmillan).

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