Psychoanalysis and Trauma: Transference and Countertransference

Transference Focused Psychotherapy: Developing and Applying Object Relational Thinking

A two-day workshop delivered by Nel Draijer, PhD

When: Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16, 2018 10:00 – 17:30

Where: 17b Ipitou Street, Plaka, Athens


The workshop is organized in two days with four workshop-sessions of 1.5 hours each. We will work interactively, which means we will switch from lectures to material produced by the participants and vice versa. To understand transference and countertransference well we will use object-relational theory. This psychoanalytic theory was developed during the last century and describes our inner life in terms of conflict between tendencies to approach the other and seek closeness and tendencies to keep distance, to seek autonomy or to protect oneself. These tendencies are supposed to consist of ‘dyads’, inner representations of ‘self’ and ‘other’ and the associated feelings.

The more complex the post-traumatic stress disorder, the more often trauma (within the family constellation) is accompanied by forms of neglect and insecure attachment. So not only need the post traumatic or dissociative symptoms to be addressed in treatment, but also the affect dysregulation and identity problems. Therapeutic alliance is considered as of major importance. But how to get an alliance with patients who are highly distrustful? How to relate with someone who does not want to be with you?

To understand the strong transferences and countertransference Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) will be introduced, an evidence based psychodynamic psychotherapy developed for the treatment of patients with a ‘borderline personality organization’ (BPO). In BPO splitting is the major defensive style, resulting in ‘identity diffusion’, the chronic alteration in mood and in subjective relations towards self and other people.

The training aims at the development in the trainees of (1) the theoretical knowledge and insight, (2) the skills and (3) the attitude, necessary for the practicing of TFP or for handling strong (counter) transference. TFP is a specialized form of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In it the relationship between therapist and patient is the most important means to bring about structural changes in the patients’ personality organization.

Workshop Structure

Friday & Saturday, June 15 & 16, 2018

Day 1 – FRIDAY, JUNE 15
Morning Session

10:00-11:30 Introduction: Why TFP when there is severe trauma? Systematic review of its effectiveness.
11.30-11:45 Coffee Break
11:45-13:15 ‘All corners of the room’ (Dutch expression for being beaten, abused): General introduction on the problems of transference and countertransference while working with severe trauma.
13:15-14:30 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session

14:30-16:00 General introduction TFP and object relational thinking (Kernberg e.a. 2008; Draijer en Van Mosel, 2012) and scientific evidence (Clarkin e.a. 2007; Doering e.a. 2010; Levy e.a. 2006)
16:00-16:15 Coffee Break
16:15-17:30 Diagnosis: the structural interview by Otto Kernberg (video & discussion) a review of the treatment model

Morning Session

10:00-11:30 TFP & object relational thinking in practice
11.30-11:45 Coffee Break
11:45-13:15 Application of TFP in the treatment of severe trauma
13:15-14:30 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session

14:30-16:00 Supervision
16:00-16:15 Coffee Break
16:15-17:30 Narcissism in Borderline Personality Organization and severe trauma: ‘I don’t rely on anyone!’

Certificate of Attendance

A Certificate of Participation from the Deree – School of Graduate and Professional Education will be awarded at the end of the workshop.

Tuition and Fees

Workshop Fee: 200 Euros

Students and ACG Community are entitled to a 10% discount

Contact: For more information and to reserve your place contact Ms Voula Kyriakopoulou, tel: 210 6009800 ext. 1210 or email: [email protected]

Deadline for Registration: June 8, 2018. Seats are limited, book your place early!

Nel Draijer, PhD

Nel Draijer is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. She worked 25 years as an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry at VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam.

She is a certified TFP trainer and supervisor. Nel is president of the Dutch Psychotherapy Association, vice-president of the ISTFP, and member of the board of ‘TFP Netherands’. She is a registered supervisor and training-psychotherapist for the Dutch Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, the Dutch psychotherapy Association and the Dutch Society of Psychiatry.