The Mask of Self-Deception
Removing Fantasy and Illusion in Psychotherapy
Terry Marks-Tarlow, Ph.D.
Imagination is central to the art of psychotherapy and is hard-wired into our very neurons. Imagination lies at the heart of empathy and is a major force in change. Imagination underlies the positive experiences of vision, expectation, hope, and fantasy in therapists and patients alike. But imagination gone amok also lies at the heart of catastrophic vision, chronic anxiety, projection, delusion, and self-deception.
This course uses interpersonal neurobiology as a framework to understand how imagination develops and evolves throughout life from early parent-child interactions and pretend play. We will draw upon clinical cases to distinguish healthy versus unhealthy aspects of imagination. We will focus in on the nature of self-deception and how to close the gap between conscious beliefs and unconscious truths. We will create a safe and intimate environment to share our war stories. Participants will leave the day with a better understanding and a set of clinical tools for working with positive and negative aspects of imagination.