Trauma & Primitive Mental States

Presenter: Judy Eekhoff, PhD FIPA

Trauma, according to Freud, is defined by the failure of the internal contact barrier to protect the psyche from bombardment. Feeling bombarded is an internal response to either an external or internal event that arises when our necessary defensive organizations fail us. Trauma shuts down the capacity to think; it impacts one’s ability to process and make meaning out of experience. Trauma splits the mind and the body. Cumulative trauma impacts the mind in numerous self-perpetuating ways.

Symbolization and the ability to verbalize intense emotional experiences serve to contain and limit the effect of traumatic events. The seminar will examine the impact that early psychological trauma has on the development of a self and on the development of an apparatus for thinking that protects us from excessive stimulation and ongoing traumatic consequences. Understanding primitive mental states enables us to work more deeply with patients who suffered early traumas.

This seminar will review the processes of mentalization as they serve to bind anxiety and unconscious conflicts. Materials will be drawn from Dr. Eekhoff’s recent book: (2021), Bion & Primitive Mental States: Trauma & the Symbiotic Link and from her first book (2019): Trauma and Primitive Mental States: An Object Relations Perspective. London: Routledge. Discussion will include the current collective trauma evoked by the Coronavirus.

Category Details
Time Saturdays at 9:30 – 11:00 am  (Seattle) (Pacific)
Dates February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3  (2023)
Location Online via Zoom
Recorded? Yes, Sessions will be recorded
Fee COR Members: $350;  Non-members: $425
CEUs 1.5 for each attended class; 7.5 hours total

Scholarships Are Available

For many years, thanks to a generous donor, COR has been able to offer scholarships to those who need financial assistance. Please complete the Scholarship Request Form if you need a scholarship.

Judy Eekhoff
Judy EekhoffPhD, FIPA
Judy K. Eekhoff, PhD FIPA, is an IPA certified training and supervising psychoanalyst and a licensed child psychologist. She is a full faculty member and former president of Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, and a full faculty member of Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and of COR Northwest Family Development Center. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and of two books: Trauma & Primitive Mental States, An Object Relations Perspective and Bion and Primitive Mental States. She practices in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Course CEU Tests and Evaluation

As as a part of Washington State requirements, each student who is wanting to claim class credits toward their license CEUs is required to complete a quiz, with a passing grade of 70%. You can take the quiz as many times as needed. Once the class is completed the final quiz will also have a course evaluation, which is also required, but can be completed anonymously.


Quiz Links

Week 1 – 2/4/23 Quiz 1
Week 2 – 3/4/23 Quiz 2
Week 3 – 4/1/23 Quiz 3
Week 4 – 5/6/23 Quiz 4
Week 5 – 6/3/23 Quiz 5 / Evaluation

Missed classes, seminars, events are not eligible for partial refunds. Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the first class are eligible for a full refund, less a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations made less than 30 days in advance of the first session are nonrefundable and non-transferable unless COR is able to fill your spot with another registrant. Cancellations made on or after the start of the first session are 100% non-refundable and nontransferable. In the event of an emergency, each situation will be considered.


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