Clinical Regression and Our Dark Times: A British Independent Perspective | 10/27/2018

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SKU: 18-1027/Sklar Category:


Jonathan Sklar, M.D.

Saturday, October 27, 2018
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Community West Treatment Center
1990 So. Bundy Drive, #320
Los Angeles, CA  90025
(Parking available in building)

This Course is Approved for 4 CE/CME’s

Program Committee
Chair:  Thomas P. Helscher, Ph.D.
Lisa Crilley, M.F.T.
Kerry English, MFT
David Hayes, MFT
Sandra Wilder-Padilla, Ph.D.


Dr. Jonathan Sklar is an independent training analyst and fellow in the British Psychoanalytical Society (BPAS), and has worked in private practice for over thirty years.  He began his career as a psychiatrist, later training in psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic and in psychoanalysis at the Institute of Psychoanalysis (loPA). He has been on the board of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) since 2015.

His recent book, Balint Matters:  Psychosomatics and the Art of Assessment (2017), describes the ‘sense of potential aliveness that the consultation can provide’ for patients; how it can lead to, ‘a flicker of new thought, the unthought known returning from its exile.’

His first book, Landscapes of the Dark (2011), focused on several of his core interests:  the theories of Freud and Ferenczi, regression of the patient in analysis, history, trauma, and Independent psychoanalytic technique.  He believes that the environment in early life is crucial to understanding mental development, health and illness. Moreover, his understanding of the immense power the past can exert upon the present – at times keeping us stuck inside obsolete and destructive narratives – connects with one of his analytic concerns:  to help patients be more creatively alive.

In describing Jonathan Sklar’s unique place in British psychoanalysis, Christopher Bollas writes:

“Dr. Jonathan Sklar is a member of the “Independent Group” within the British Psychoanalytical Society.  This remarkable era of analysts—known best from the writings of D.W. Winnicott, Michael Balint, Marion Milner, Masud Khan, and Nina Coltart—is easily lost in a misguided synonym that this is also the “Middle Group”.  The Middle Group is simply a potpourri of many analysts from within the British Society who sought refuge or gained advantage from transient existence outside of their core group: Classical Freudian or Kleinian. For political reasons the Independent Group and the Middle Group occupied the same space for generations, much to the hazard of the protean creativity of the Independent Group.

Sklar’s tradition is within the Independent Group, not the Middle Group.  What does this mean?

Many Middle Group analysts are conversant in the writings of Winnicott, Balint and others but have not actually had an analysis that is predicated on the personal clinical experience of regression to dependence within the transference that releases deep lived “memories” of the formation of the self.

Like Winnicott, Balint, Milner, Khan, and Coltart, those who attend his talks have a rare moment when they meet someone who has actually been through the deeply evocative experience of an Independent analysis rather than someone who has read about it.

He is, in other words, the real deal.

These days, that is a rarity in itself.”


Join us for our LAISPS Fall workshop as we explore the history and clinical value of regression from a British Independent psychoanalytic perspective, as well as how that perspective offers us insights on the perilous times in which we live.   Dr. Sklar is the author of Balint Matters: Psychosomatics and the Art of Assessment (2017), and the forthcoming Dark Times: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Politics, History, and Mourning (September 29, 2018).   In the first half of the workshop, Dr. Sklar will describe and discuss Freud and Ferenczi’s debate over the value of clinical regression, and describe in detail the place of regression to dependence in contemporary British Independent psychoanalysis.  The concept of ‘regression to dependence” remains one of the least understood and most controversial in the Independent tradition. In this talk, Dr. Sklar will describe the history and development of this idea and demonstrate with clinical examples both how to facilitate and manage clinical regression as well as its clinical value in stimulating the patient’s stifled creativity and sense of aliveness.  Dr. Sklar’s talk will be wide-ranging and interactive, exploring the links between regression and dreams, language, the transference, symptoms, free associations, and enactments. After a brief coffee break, Dr. Sklar will discuss “Alterity and Trauma: Regression and Perverse States of Mind in Society, Politics, and Mourning,” drawing on ideas outlined in his most recent book, “Dark Times,” an Independent psychoanalytic perspective on the resurgence of racism in American and xenophobia in European politics.  This talk will explore the role of early trauma and environmental deprivation in the development of perverse adaptations that underlie certain political and social movements.

Target Audience

This program meets the needs of all mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists


Upon completion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Describe Freud’s and Ferenczi’s differing views on regression.
  • Appreciate the value of clinical regression to dependence in analytic treatment.
  • Facilitate and manage clinical regression in order to uncover early trauma and promote healing.
  • Gain a psychoanalytic perspective on the resurgence of racism in America and nationalism in Europe.


12:30-1:00 Registration

1:00-1:10 Introduction

1:10-3:00 “Freud and Ferenczi: Regression and Contemporary Independent Psychoanalysis ”

3:00-3:15 Coffee Break

3:15-5:00 “Alterity and Trauma: Regression and Perverse States of Mind in Society, Politics, and Mourning.”


Important Disclosure: None of the planners or presenters of this CME/CE program has any relevant financial relationship to disclose.

Accreditation and Credit Designation Statement

Accreditation Statement: LAISPS is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. LAISPS takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Physicians: LAISPS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certificate in Continuing Medical Education.
Psychologists: LAISPS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. LAISPS maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists: The Board of Behavioral Sciences no longer approves CE providers. However, LAISPS is approved by the APA to provide CE hours and the BBS will accept these hours for CE credit.

Please Note:

  • Participants must complete an online evaluation within 2 weeks of completing this CE/CME activity in order to receive credit.
  • According to APA guidelines, CE credit can only be awarded to psychologists for full attendance

Additional information