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Scientific Meeting

Lecture | September 21 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Location: via Zoom Videoconference

Philip C. Wilson Twenty Second Memorial Lecture

A Developmental Perspective on Eating Disorders

Explorations into the metacognitive and affective difficulties associated with eating disorders can provide useful anchors for our efforts to create space for development in our consulting rooms.

Presenter: Marilyn Charles, PhD, ABPP
Program Committee Chair: Marina Mirkin, MD

CME/ Social Work & Psychology CE Credits Available

About the Speaker(s)

Marilyn Charles, PhD, ABPP is a psychologist and psychoanalyst at the Austen Riggs Center, Chair of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS) and Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council. Affiliations include Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis; Universidad de Monterrey; Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis; and Harvard Medical School. A contributing editor of Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society, she is actively engaged in mentoring and promoting socially relevant research. Research interests include creativity, psychosis, resilience, reflective function, and the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Marilyn is also an artist, a poet, and a writer.

Books include Patterns; Constructing Realities; Learning from Experience; Working with Trauma; and Psychoanalysis and Literature. Edited volumes include Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalysis; Fragments of Trauma and the Social Production of Suffering (with Michael O’Loughlin); Women and Psychosis and Women and The Psychosocial Construction of Madness (with Marie Brown); and The Importance of Play in Early Childhood Education (with Jill Bellinson). Forthcoming from APA Press: Trauma, Development, and Identity: A Clinician’s Guide.

About the Presentation

In this era of increasing recognition that most individuals who enter our consulting rooms are struggling with symptoms that mark developmental impasses, we encounter bright individuals who appear to have the capacity for reflective thought but there is often insufficient grounding in integrating thoughts and feelings to learn from experience. In that context, adaptive efforts that fail to resolve the underlying dilemma tend to become addictive. Such difficulties have been traced to inconsistent parenting that leaves the child insufficiently able to mindfully attend to internal and external cues, impeding the symbolization of experience so essential for interpersonal communications and relationships.

From this perspective, eating disorders become addictive because the behaviors cannot resolve the underlying deficits. These deficits can be traced to parental failures across the generations that cannot be recognized and worked with, leaving subsequent generations inhibited in the development of self-regulatory functions and the progressive differentiation of self from other so crucial to maturation. Eating disorders mark early disturbance in relation to what it means to take in and make use of what is offered by another. We will note commonalities and differences in the anorexic versus the bulimic dilemma, recognizing that each position may be seen as a waystation along the road to self-development in relation to overly intrusive and/or neglectful parents.

Explorations into the metacognitive and affective difficulties associated with eating disorders can provide useful anchors for our efforts to create space for development in our consulting rooms. Case examples will explore some of the dynamics underlying such difficulties and the value of interactive modeling of reflective capacities and of creative, playful engagement in effecting change.

Learning Objectives

As a result of participating in this presentation, the attendees will become able to:


CME / CE statement
ACCME Accreditation Statement for Joint Providership 
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Psychoanalytic Association of New York (PANY). The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Psychoanalytic Association of New York, affiliated with NYU Langone Health is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0124.

Psychoanalytic Association of New York (affiliated with NYU Grossman School of Medicine) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0112.

Psychoanalytic Association of New York
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