When Stress Causes Pain, Can the Psychoanalyst Intervene?

Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis-Trauma Studies Certificate Program


Instructors: Frances Sommer Anderson, Ph.D., SEP, and Eric Sherman, Psy.D.


In the midst of the pain epidemic and ensuing opioid addiction crisis, psychoanalysts have the opportunity to learn interventions based on the conceptualization of somatic pain as a complex subjective construction comprised of sensations, emotions, and beliefs/cognitions. This psychoanalytic perspective is congruent with contemporary research on the neuroscience of pain, trauma, and cognitive and emotion processing. In this six-session course, participants will be introduced to this research and its implications for integration into a psychoanalytically-informed model for treating Psychophysiologic Pain Disorders (PPD). In contrast to pain management, this treatment model aims to eliminate somatic pain by elucidating and resolving underlying emotional and/or physical trauma residues and emotional conflicts which may have contributed to its development. Relevant readings and experiential processes will be assigned for each class.


Dates: Part I: Sundays, January 13 and 27, and February 3, 2019, from 11 am to 1 pm (taught by Dr. Anderson)


Part II: Saturdays, February 9 and 23, and March 2, 2019, 11 am to 1 pm (taught by Dr. Sherman)


Participants should attend both Part I and Part II.





No Longer Afraid to Feel: Early Life Adversity, Emotion Regulation, and Somatic Pain


Frances Sommer Anderson, Ph.D., SEP


Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis Colloquium- Co-sponsored by the Manhattan Institute Certificate Program in Trauma Studies November 30, 2018


Lane, R. D., Anderson, F. S., & Smith, R. (2018). Biased competition favoring physical over emotional pain: a possible explanation for the link between early adversity and chronic pain. Psychosomatic medicine, 80(9), 880-890.





Anderson, F. S. (2017). It Was Not Safe to Feel Angry: Disrupted Early Attachment and the Development of Chronic Pain in Later Life. Attachment, 11(3), 223-241.