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A Heart Shattered, Relentless Despair, and the Unlived Life

March 10 @ 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

A Heart Shattered, Relentless Despair, and the Unlived Life

Martha Stark, M.D.

Saturday March 10, 2018

9:00 am — Registration/Coffee
9:30 am — 12 pm — Presentation



Patients who have never fully confronted—and grieved—the pain of their early-on heartbreak will often 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 completely from the “world of objects” – only to find themselves then overwhelmed with a terrifying sense of alienations, existential angst, and harrowing loneliness. Instead of “relentless hope,” their experience is of “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 existence that was otherwise desolate, impenetrable, and empty.

About the Presenter

Martha Stark, MD, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is a Holistic Psychiatrist/Psychoanalyst and an Integrative Medicine Specialist in private practice in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Stark is Faculty, Harvard Medical School; Co-Director/ Faculty, Center for Psychoanalytic Studies; Faculty, Psychiatry Redefined; Faculty/Scientific Advisory Board, Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine; Adjunct Faculty, William James College and Smith College School for Social Work; and former Faculty, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Dr. Stark is the author of seven critically acclaimed psychotherapy books—award-winning “mandatory reading” at psychoanalytic training institutes and in psychodynamic psychotherapy programs both in the U.S. and abroad.

Board Certified by the American Association of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Stark has contributed chapters to integrative medicine textbooks and articles to peer-reviewed toxicology/environmental medicine journals. She also serves on the editorial/advisory boards of various holistic health publications.


Guntrip, H. (1969). Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations, and the Self. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.

Khan, M. (1996). The Privacy of the Self. London: Karnac Books.

Modell, A. (1996). The Private Self. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Stark, M. (2016). How Does Psychotherapy Work? International Psychotherapy institute. eBook—

Winnicott, D. W. (1965). The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.

Learning Objectives

After attending this intermediate-level program,  participants will be able:

1. To elaborate upon the patient’s intense ambivalence about “remaining hidden vs. being found.”

2. To explain the relevance of the concept of the patient’s “dread of surrender to resourceless dependence.”

3. To expound upon the importance of “moments of authentic meeting’” as offering opportunity for restoring purpose, meaning, and direction to a life otherwise “unlived.”

Sponsorship and Continuing Education

2.5 CE credits are available to psychologists and psychoanalysts, and 2.5 CE credits will be provided for LMHCs. Social workers seeking continuing education credits should contact Cindy Racine ( or 413-446-9529) for status of the application for continuing education credits.

Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during the discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns or any complaints to Moi Wurgaft, Ph.D., LMHC at 413-230-7027.

WMAAPP is the local chapter of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association.

WMAAPP is committed to following APA ethical guidelines.


WMAAPP brochure Stark 3-10-2018

Pre-registration has ended.


March 10
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Category:


Austen Riggs Center
25 West Main St.
Stockbridge, MA 01262 United States
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