Attachment, Loss, and Desire in Group Psychotherapy: A Lacanian Perspective

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Scott Conkright, PsyD & The Red Well Theater Group

November 4 – 6, 2016, Cambridge, MD

Desire and lack permeate group psychotherapy and are available for expression and elaboration among group members as long as the group leader is willing to tolerate the tensions evoked by these primitive feelings, often directed towards him or her. In this conference, Scott Conkright, PsyD, will demonstrate the power of the group to both elicit and cope with these powerful dynamics through the integration of theory, research, and clinical practice. A Red Well Theater Group play reading presentation will dramatically illuminate the human struggle between longing for attachments and the inevitability of endings and goodbyes.

The conference will highlight how Lacanian theory explains people’s different responses to desire and lack.

  • The conference will help participants become familiar with Lacan’s theories of desire and lack.
  • The conference will help participants apply Lacanian theory to group psychotherapy treatment.
  • The conference will help participants identify the essential features of Lacan’s theory of the split subject.
  • The conference will address desire and loss within the group via the play, Dinner with Friends.
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Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe how member attachments influence the process of grief and mourning within a therapy group.
  2. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of their own desires and lack influence their ability to be engaged in the group when exploring these issues as a leader.
  3. The Workshop will help participants understand how their desires influence the amount of risk they take in expressing desire and shame.
  4. Participants will be able to identify and discuss themes related desire and lack as illuminated within the play presentation of Dinner with Friends
  5. The Workshop will help participants become familiar with Lacan’s theories of desire and lack.
  6. Participants will have a fuller understanding of Lacan’s concept of jouissance and how it influences group behavior.

About our Presenters

Scott Conkright, Psy.D. Interview for the Fall 2014 Edition of the AGPS Voice from David Kaplowitz on Vimeo.

Dr. Conkright received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He earned a Master’s Degree from Drake University in Counseling Education, and then his Doctorate degree from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Before moving to Atlanta in 1996, Dr. Conkright maintained a private practice in Chicago. He has been providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples and groups for over 15 years.

Dr. Conkright specializes in depression, anxiety, couple’s therapy, sexual addiction, and sexual orientation issues. He has a particular interest in the application of Lacanian theory to group psychotherapy. In addition to providing therapy, Dr. Conkright has served as President of the Atlanta Group Psychotherapy Society as well as the Affiliate Board of the American Group Psychotherapy Association. He is also a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Analytical Society. He presents workshops nationally on group psychotherapy and on Lacanian psychoanalysis.

The Red Well Theater Group contributes to the professional development of group therapists through presentations that feature a dramatic play reading combined with a clinically informed commentary and audience discussion.

For more information please contact Nancy Hafkin & Rose McIntyre, Conference Co-Chairs, at conferences@magps.org.