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  • Symposium 2012:
    On Loneliness

    Saturday, March 24, 2012
    8:15 AM

    Loneliness is perhaps one of the most painful affective states a person can experience. It is a subjective experience that most of us have had at some point in our lives. It may be experienced as an intense emptiness or solitude, an isolation from others both internal and/or external. Or, it can be experienced as grief; a loneliness in the presence of others. It can be also be understood by its duration (e.g., temporary or chronic), or as Sartre noted, an essential feature of the human condition. Sartre believed this condition arose from conflict between the need to create meaning in life and the awareness of isolation or nothingness in the universe. For a psychoanalyst this idea might translate into an infantile experience of needing the mother and becoming aware that she is not always available.

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    Mount Sinai Medical Center
    98th Street and Madison Avenue
    Goldwurm Auditorium


    Chronic loneliness has been linked to physical (e.g., cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease) and psychological (e.g., depression and schizoid pathology, impaired cognition and personal determination, sleep disturbance, suicide, alcoholism and substance abuse) difficulties. As we can see from the variety of manifestations loneliness is often a complex phenomena in both its
    aetiology and presentation.

    The aims of Symposium 2012 are to explore this vast domain from a broad psychoanalytic perspective. Our introductory speaker, Lucille Spira, will open the day by framing the topic with a series of questions: Why is it so difficult for some people to find the connections that they say that they want? What makes people lonely? Is it due to desire, a deep sense of longing for someone, or fear, the result of feeling unsafe, unloveable, or toxic? Three panels will then provide a special emphasis on: Loneliness as revealed by the artists, the clinical dimensions of loneliness, and Loneliness/solitude in the Psychoanalytic Training Process.

    We hope you’ll come and join us in discussing this important topic.

guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •