Thursday, May 22, 2020

Eighth Triennial Symposium on Psychoanalysis and the Arts: Partners in Creation

Convitto Della Calza

Florence, Italy

“On Creative Ambitions in the Psychoanalyst”

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Discussion Group: Psychoanalysis and Theater: Ragnark, The Fate of the Gods.

The National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

Grand Hyatt New York, New York, NY

Friday, May 3, 2019

Lawrence E. Lifson, MD, Psychotherapy Conference: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 2019.

The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA.

“Conference Overview.” Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH

Discussant. “”The Little Red Wagon: Empathizing with Oedipus.” Richard Geist, MD.

Wednesday, February 6, 2018

Discussion Group: Psychoanalysis and Theater: Fascist Music and the Resistance to Recognizing Dark


The National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

The New York Hilton Hotel, New York, NY

Friday, May 19, 2017

Seventh Triennial Symposium on Psychoanalysis and the Arts: Senses and Soul

Istituto degli Innocenti

Florence, Italy

“The Lure and Taboo of Forbidden Worlds and Virtual Realities.”

Phillip Freeman MD, DMH

There have long been fears that daydream fantasy poses a risk to survival. Samuel Johnson wrote of the “dangerous prevalence of the imagination”. In this spirit, theater, at times, has been outlawed. Similarly, Freud warned of the “over-luxuriant fantasy.” Most recently, virtual technologies raise the specter of dissolution. And yet, creative writers, transitional analysts and cybernauts also offer the imagination as humanity™s last stand, a portal to all that is most important. Passionate artistic and analytic quests to express the inexpressible border at times on mysticism. This talk will consider dramatic moments in the history of our ambivalent attempts to come to terms with the imagination.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Discussion Group: Psychoanalysis and Theater: The Role of Music on Stage and the Music of the Session

The National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Post-Hamlet Conversation: Psychic Fault Lines

Actors™ Shakespeare Project

Church of the Covenant

Boston, MA

Saturday, January 16, 2016, 2:00-5:00pm

Film Workshop: “The Trojan Horse Narrative in the film Marnie”

Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH

The National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

While a film™s melodrama waves like a hypnotist™s watch bob, the visual poetry of cinema may operate beneath the narrative surface like a dream with a mission. In this session we will view and consider the 1964 Alfred Hitchcock film, Marnie. Overtly, it is a psychoanalytic melodrama, a story of sexual trauma, gripping but pat. Covertly, a complex repertoire of visual techniques cultivates the uncanny and yields unexpected rewards including the apparent resolution of a traumatic neurotic symptom in the presenter.

Thursday, January 14, 2016, 4:30-6:30pm

Psychoanalysis and Theater: Comparing the “process” of the analyst to that of the actor.

Presentations: Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH and Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director, Actors Shakespeare Project

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

While dramatic performance and clinical performance are clearly different, both the performer and the analyst utilize enhanced emotional experience to influence self-knowledge in, respectively, the audience member and the patient. Both utilize empathy, imagination, and role responsiveness in the pursuit of their truths and that goal. In this session Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director of the Actors™ Shakespeare Project, will present notes on his experiences encountering a new role: Leontes in Shakespeare™s play A Winter™s Tale. Mr. Burrows will perform segments of the text that influenced his evolving understanding of the character to be performed. Dr. Phillip Freeman will present clinical process to help the group consider the similarities and differences between a psychoanalyst creating a patient and an actor creating a role.

Saturday, December 12, 2015, 2:00-4:30pm

Depth Versus Chutzpah in Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

Panel Presentations: Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH, Vera Camden, PhD, David Miller, PhD, Laurie Wilson, PhD

Institute for Psychoanalytic Education

NYU Medical Center

550 First Avenue, New York, New York 10016

Four experienced psychoanalysts who are also accomplished practitioners of Applied Analysis will discuss the problems and possibilities of applying psychoanalytic ideas and approaches to the arts.

Thursday, July 23, 2015, 8:00-10:00pm

“The Witches of Macbeth” by Phillip Freeman

A staged reading by actors from The Actors Shakespeare Project.

International Psychoanalytic Association 49th Congress

Amphitheater, Seaport Hotel and Seaport World Trade Center

200 Seaport Boulevard

Boston MA 02210

Recent Events

Friday, January 30, 2015, 7:00-9:30pm

“The Witches of Macbeth” by Phillip Freeman

A Staged Reading by The Psych Drama Company. Ted Eaton, Director.

Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA

Thursday, January 15, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm

“The Witches of Macbeth” by Phillip Freeman

A Staged Reading by The Psych Drama Company. Ted Eaton, Director

Waldorf Astoria, Empire Room

New York, New York

National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

Two actors playing the witches in a production of Macbeth engage in a series of offbeat dialogues that in some ways parallel and comment on scenes in the Shakespeare play. As the Macbeths in the production pursue and then violently attempt to resurrect their ill-fated dream, the actors/witches take up their own illusions of love, ambition and magical authority, and consider responses to disillusionment.

A discussion will follow the performance.

Monday, June 30, 2014, 2-3:30pm

Dramatizing Historical Persons and Concepts in “Freud’s Last Session”.

The Cape Playhouse

820 Massachusetts 6A

Dennis, MA 02638


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Art Dealers as Muse for Louise Nevelson

The 6th International Symposium on Psychoanalysis and Art

Florence, Italy

Author: Laurie Wilson, PhD

Discussant: Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH

Saturday, January 18, 2014, 2-5pm

Online And On The Couch Virtuality: The Real, The Imagined, And The Perverse Panel Presentations: Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH. Glen Gabbard, MD. Stephen Hartman, PhD.

National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

The psychoanalytic literature initially greeted online opportunities for self-invention and anonymous relationships with words like inauthenticity and perversion that reflected attitudes of skepticism and alarm. A second wave of papers has turned the tongue wagging back on the analysts and accused the field of missing the cultural moment, of failing to appreciate that the cyber-revolution is not just the latest version of an infantile flight into fantasy, but something new under the sun. In either case, who better than psychoanalysts to comment on virtual realities? And even for those who would flee the cyber-reality, where can the analyst hide? What becomes of anonymity in a day of online searches? What becomes of the analytic frame when online communications run 24/7?

Saturday, January 19, 2013, 3-5pm

Celebrity Objects

Scientific Paper

National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

Author: Joseph S. Reynoso, PhD

Discussant: Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH

Friday, March 16, 2012, 7:30-9:30pm

The Illusion of Getting Real and the Reality of Illusion: Constructing and Deconstructing Neurotic, Artistic, and Therapeutic Illusions.

The Denver Psychoanalytic Society at the University of Colorado Denver-School of Medicine.

Bushnell Auditorium, Anschultz Medical Campus.

Building 500, 8th Floor–13001 E. 17th Place, Aurora, CO.

Saturday, January 14, 2012, 5:15pm – 6:45pm

National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

Special Symposium: “Freud’s Last Session”–The Creative Process of Playwright, Mark St. Germaine.

Chair and Moderator, Julie Jaffee Nagel, Ph.D.

Presenter: Mark St. Germain, Playwright of Freud’s Last Session

Discussants: Phillip S. Freeman, MD, DMH and Daniel W. Prezant, Ph.D.

Playwright Mark St. Germaine discusses the creation of his award-winning play that centers on the imaginary dialogue between Sigmund Freud and writer, C.S.Lewis in Freud’s study in London. On the day England entered World War II and two weeks before Freud™s death, Freud and Lewis clash on the existence of God, love, sex, and the meaning of life.

Friday, December 2, 2011 and Friday December 9, 2011

Post-Show Discussion:

Parallel Plays in Psychoanalysis and Theater

The Psych Drama Company presents:


Boston Center for the Arts

Plaza Black Box Theater

539 Tremont St., Boston

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 8pm

Humor and Crisis

Scientific Meeting, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute

15 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA


Phillip Freeman, MD, DMH


Alexandra Harrison, MD

An invitation to talk to a mixed group of professionals about the ethical use of humor in professional relationships led to observations about shared mechanisms of the successful joke and the successful interpretation. While the psychoanalytic literature regarding the use of humor in the analytic setting has appropriately emphasized the dangers, particularly the dangers of contrived humor, humor and laughter remain an important if not inevitable presence in the clinical setting. We will consider the role of humor in the relation of the professions, the particular circumstances of humor when the professions are the butt of the joke, and the role of humor in the crisis of the professions.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 7:30pm to 10:40pm

“Marnie”, Narrative as Trojan Horse Movie screening and discussion

Creativity Throught the Life Cycle

An Interdisciplinary Conference Jointly Sponsored by Emory University, the IPA, APsaA, and the Lucy Daniels Foundation

White Hall, Emory Campus, Atlanta, Georgia

Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 9am to 12pm

Conflict and Creativity in Psychoanalysis:

Freud, Fleiss, and Jung

Scientific Meeting, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute

15 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA


Joel Whitebook, PhD


Phillip Freeman, MD

Bonnie Smolen, EdD

Saturday, January 15, 2011 from 10:30am to 12:00 noon

The Resilience of Illusion

Scientific Paper

National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

Author: Phillip S. Freeman, M.D.

Discussant: Stuart W.Twemlow, M.D.

This paper is aimed at practicing analysts and at those who apply analytic concepts to understand cultural developments. The paper draws upon the analytic situation, popular entertainments, anthropology, virtual worlds, and social phenomena to consider the oposition between reality and fanatsy as it plays out clinically, socially, and in psychoanalytic technique.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Humor and Crisis

Keynote Speaker.

2010 Dallas Conference of the Professions.

Southern Methodist University.

Maquire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

The CotP is a unique and intimate annual meeting of clergy, lawyers, and physicians for the purposes of discussing ethical and professional issues of shared concern. Each year the Conference is built around a particular theme – this year being the ethical use of humor in the professions.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 from 8:00 – 9:30 pm

The Illusion of Getting Real and the Reality of Illusion: Constructing and Deconstructing Neurotic, Artistic, and Therapeutic Illusions


Learning Center, 3rd Floor, The Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

I would like to consider the possible outcomes of three related sets of circumstances:

What happens when we encounter new technologies that reopen the possibility of realizing omnipotent fanatsies?

What happens when individuals ensconced within fortresses of protective fanatsy are offered invitations to experience pleasures that are partial but real?

What happens when those to whom we have assigned the vestiges of lost perfection, the conjurers we would conjure, the magicians, decide to get real with us?

The PEFB invites trainees, student and recent graduates in mental health professions to participate in this free program. All mental health professionals are welcome.

Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The Music of Fear, Love, and Transformation a program of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England

Presenter: Neal S. Kass, M.D.


Phillip Freeman, M.D.

Martin Miller, M.D.

Macht Auditorium

The Cambridge Hospital

1493 Cambridge Street

Cambridge, MA 02139

December 14, 2009 7:30 pm

The Resilience of Illusion in Psychoanalysis and Theater

The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (SCFP) Auditorium

2340 Jackson St. 4th FL, San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2009 4:00 pm

Ritual, Drama, and Psychoanalysis

Speaker: Phillip Freeman, MD

Discussant: Sanford Schreiber, MD

Western New England Psychoanalytic Society

255 Bradley Street New Haven, CT

Theater and psychoanalysis are relatively divided in the pursuit of entertainment and therapeutic aims respectively but they are linked at their points of origin by an interest in performance and attributions of magic, the role of illusion. In theater, these themes mark an evolution from ritual to drama. In psychoanalysis, they constitute the basis for the centrality of the interpretation of the transference to the work.

There is no fee for these programs. All are welcome, registration is not required.

The Western New England Psychoanalytic Society is a professional association that offers courses, lectures and other programs for the mental health community. For directions to the Society, click here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:30 pm

Theatre, Psychoanalysis, and the Virtual Stage

Dr. Freeman speaks at The Princeton Club of New York

15 West 43rd Street New York, NY

cash bar

Socializing on outdoor terrace before and after.

Reservation required. Your name will be at the door.

RSVP via email Dottie Jeffries at Jeffries Marketing or call (917) 445-7876.

About Dr. Freeman™s talk:

In a time of generic and immediate gratifications, psychoanalysis and theatre offer something with the potential to be individual, authentic, and profound. In the analytic situation or on the dramatic stage, real persons in real time and space create an illusion that is relatively unbound and temporally fluid.

The illusion so created has the potential to reverberate in the audience, or in the analyst and analysand, on deeper levels and thereby to trace the arc of recognition, revelation, catharsis, and transformation that Aristotle argued justified the poet™s admission to Plato™s Republic.

Of course, as with Oedipus, knowledge can be trouble, and both psychoanalysis and theatre have histories of being viewed with suspicion if not prohibited outright. Dr. Freeman will discuss the historically shifting emphasis on reality, virtual reality, and illusion in psychoanalysis and popular culture.

Ample time will be allowed for discussion following the talk.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Psychoanalysis and Theater: Shared Origins, Shared Dilemmas.

Theater Communications Group, National Meeting. Baltimore, MD.

We often hear theatrical work described as a kind of therapy, or emotional outlet. But rarely do we look at the similarities between the two professions, especially in terms of “audience”. The challenges facing theater organizations are similar to those of psychoanalytic institutions and other professions that offer labor intensive products with real people in real time. Both must attempt to reach out to the community, produce alliances with allied disciplines, utilize new technologies, and transform their own institutions. The descriptions offered here of these efforts among threatened professionals are intentionally humorous and affectionate but, at the same time, underline the importance of attending to the inevitable tensions between survival strategies and identity preservation.

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