How the Developmental Mourning Theory Can Help Heal a Polarized World – Susan Kavaler-Adler (presenter) & Ken Fuchsman (discussant) (Part 2)


Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler’s clinical theory of “Developmental Mourning” is about how split, dissociated, and polarized parts of the Self can be healed, through a natural developmental process of mourning, which extends the feeling process of mourning beyond that of a concrete bereavement.

In her IPhA paper [for Friday May 19th], Susan Kavaler-Adler will extend this clinical theory to societal and psychohistorical perspectives. When John Kennedy Junior died in a plane accident, she spoke as one of four Mourning Process experts on the Jesse Jackson T.V. show, “Both Sides.” Then, she made the point that mourning often involves the willingness to tolerate and symbolically process one’s own aggression and rage, as well as to tolerate the painful feelings of grief and sadness due to object loss. This point is critical for clinical work, but it also becomes profoundly applicable to the polarized sociological splits in our country, society, and in the full global world.

Short bio:

Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, D.LITT., NCPsyA, is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst, who has practiced for 47 years. Dr. Kavaler-Adler is a Fellow of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where she serves as active Faculty, Senior Supervisor and Training Analyst, and Board President.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler is also a prolific author, who has published 7 books and over 70 articles. She has won 16 awards for her writing, including a Gradiva® Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis for Mourning, Spirituality, and Psychic Change: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis (Routledge 2003, Gradiva Award 2004).  She also has three Gradiva® Award nominations.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s other books include The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers (Routledge, 1993; ORI Academic Press, 2013); The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes Frenzy to Love and Creativity (Routledge, 1996; ORI Academic Press, 2014); The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies (Karna/Routledge, 2013); The Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: Transformative New Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory (Karnac/Routledge, 2014). Her new book, which we are all here to discuss today, is the first of three Volumes of her Selected Papers, entitled Developmental Mourning, Erotic Transference, and Object Relations Psychoanalysis, published by International Psychoanalytic Books (IPBooks).

Dr. Kavaler-Adler is also on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Controversial Conversations.  In addition, Dr. Kavaler-Alder has monthly groups in Creative and Scholarly Writing, Experiential Role-Play Supervision, and in Mourning and Psychotherapy with Meditative Psychic Visualization.