Calendar of Events

Alone Together: Solitude and Relatedness in the Clinical Setting

Austen Riggs Center

25 Main St Large Conference Room
StockbridgeMassachusetts 01262
January 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Danielle Knafo is a Professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Long Island University, where she chairs a specialty concentration on Serious Mental Illness (SMI). She is also faculty and supervisor at NYU’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Dr. Knafo has written and lectured extensively on psychoanalysis, creativity, trauma, severe psychopathology and gender. Her most recent book is Dancing with the Unconscious: The Art of Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalysis of Art. Dr. Knafo is the creator of two blogs: and, and maintains a private practice in Great Neck, NY.

Dr. Knafo took her BA in Literature and Psychology, and her MA in Clincial Psychology at Tel-Aviv University in Israel. She then received her Ph.D. from CUNY and her Psychoanalytic Training from NYU. She has over 30 years experience working with diverse patient populations. Due to her multicultural background, she has worked in several different cultural settings emphasizing ethnic and language diversity (she is fluent in four languages). Her interests in culture and gender infuse both her teaching and writing.

DESCRIPTION OF EVENT: Dr. Knafo will explore the themes of solitude and relatedness in psychodynamic psychotherapy. She will present two cases that appear very different, even nearly opposed, yet have underlying and illuminating similarities. The first involves a successful woman who could not tolerate being alone. The second is about a reclusive young man who could not endure being with others. Yet each case speaks deeply about the existential and psychological difficulty embodied in flight from a historical rupture that could not be processed or symbolized. The case narrations show how the levels of concealment embodied in the first case of defensive relationship and the second case of defensive solitude provide hints and clues to liberation.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES - At the conclusion of the event the participants will be able to:

1. describe how solitude and relatedness are related states.

2. appraise the cultural phenomenon of Hikikomori, Japanese social isolation.

3. discuss creative therapeutic techniques with which to treat extreme forms of solitude and relatedness.

This presentation is designed for mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, with no regular registration fee.


No registration required. For more information contact Alicia Zaludova at 413-931-5230.

2 hours
Intended Audience: