March 7, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Presenter: Virginia Goldner, Ph.D.
Virginia Goldner, Ph.D. is the Founding Editor of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and a founding Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues. She is on the faculties of the NYU Post-doctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, the Stephen A. Mitchell Center for Relational Studies, and the doctoral program in clinical psychology at C.U.N.Y. Virginia is the author of over 50 papers on gender, sexuality and relational theory, and is completing a book collecting her major pieces. She is also Orna Guralnick’s on-camera consultant on the hit Showtime series “Couples Therapy”

About the Day
Morning Session: Representing and Regulating Sexuality in the Age of #MeToo
Sexual coercion coopts the erotic into a traumatic register, creating conditions of tormenting confusion for the preyed upon and agita for the predator, whose omnipotence is thrilling, but fragile. This paper addresses the politics and dynamics of erotic relations, and explores the tension between pleasure and danger, between consent and submission, and between the lure of romanticism, with its swampy lost and foundness, and the sobriety of politicization — the clear-eyed morning coffee that’s in a name. (“Was) I raped last night (?)” Under such conditions of liminal ambiguity, the issue becomes one of reality testing. “Just say no” is not an option when the question is “What just happened?”

Afternoon Session:
Romantic Love: Bonds, Binds and Ruptures ~ Treating Couples on the Brink
Couples in crisis may present in many different ways, content issues and personality styles run the gamut — but whether theatrically voiced or floating in the ether, something is always the same —the shock, the fear of collapse, the profound confusion over what is going on — a situation that incites extreme reactivity, paranoia, hypersensitivity, the feeling of “carrying my guts in a bag,” as one man said. When the one you love keeps hurting you, when the one who hurts you doesn’t try to make it better, when the one you need abandons or frightens you, when the one you know becomes impenetrable or unknown to you, when the one who knows you no longer recognizes you—these are the ubiquitous traumas of love lost. This is the shock of omnipotence shattered. This paper seeks to deconstruct the relational “knots” that torment couples on the brink and considers whether and how clinicians can intervene to keep love vibrant – but far less dangerous.

This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone.


Innis Town Hall Theatre,
University of Toronto, 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto, ON, M5S 1J5

Open to: All

For more information, or to register, click here