Panel of the IPhA’s Roundtable Discussion Working Group:
Caring for Self and Other in a Destructive and Trauma-Filled World (60 min)
Panelists: Rose Gupta, Gabriela Gusita, Inna Rosentvit (organizer), Claire Steinberg (moderator)

Panel’s Abstract: This group explores the complexity of caring, where experience of caregiving and caretaking offers unconscious and conscious meaning-making and unique opportunity for fantasy, dreamwork and enactment possibility. Participants discuss unexpected elements of psychic growth and development found in confrontation with lifecycle transitions and processes of aging, illness, and death in a disruptive trauma-fueled environment.

Discussants share personal and therapeutic narratives, emphasizing commonalities and differences and the wide diversity of bio-social-emotional states: solitude and relational holding, isolation and despair, and burden, rage, and gratitude. The panel incorporates the interplay of time with individual, familial, therapeutic, neurobiological, and broad communal concerns. The audience will be invited to participate.

Claire B. Steinberger: Acts of Caring: A Complex Journey (30 min)

Abstract: The first segment of this presentation, “Acts of Caring: Going Beyond,” explores acts of caring in the context of love, duty, and the human capacity for moving beyond the expectable.

The second segment, “Dreamland: Empathic Failure,” presents a clinical vignette highlighting developmental struggles that impede the capacity for receiving and giving care.

Gabriela Gusita: The Mutuality of Care (30 min)

Abstract: My paper is an expression of gratitude to my clients and colleagues, who “took care” of me during a difficult moment of my professional life as a therapist and that is the suicide of a client. I would like to propose the importance of the care we receive from our clients who manage at times to go beyond their pain and stay by our side unconsciously giving us the symbolic hug of recognition we need so much when we, the therapists, are hurt. Our clients receive acknowledgement for caring without knowing the whole truth.


Claire B. Steinberger, PhD is Supervisory School Psychologist, Senior Faculty, National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, Supervisory Member, American Association Marriage and Family Therapy, New York Mediator, Adjunct Associate Professor Long Island University, City University of New York. Her research and presentations focus on trauma and emphasize a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating individual, interpersonal and cultural interface. Dr. Steinberger is a member of multiple organizations that implement such approach: International Psychohistorical Association, American Psychological Association, and American Psychoanalytic Association. She is in private practice in New York and New Jersey.

Gabriela Gusita, MSci, is a psychologist, trained in Relational Psychoanalysis, in private practice in Athens, Greece. She serves as a Forensic Psychologist for the Athens Court of Justice, and she is an active member and co-founder of three Study Groups on Ferenczi’s Work. Member of the International Forum on Violence. Participant at local and international conferences and seminars focused on the violent environment of trauma, the identity of the therapist, and the mutuality of emotions in therapy.