Psychoaesthetics: On the art of conducting a psychodynamic process

This class is an experiment in developing a new perspective (psychoaesthetics) on an experience and dimension which is implicit in the psychodynamic process and the psychoanalytic tradition, especially in British Object Relations. It grows from the last 4 years of intensive case supervision and creative collaboration with Franco Scabbiolo, whose recent (2024) book Feeling the Feelings of the Feeling is taken as a reference and point of departure for the conception of psychoaesthetics. It is further rooted in the work of Donald Meltzer, especially his (1988) work The Aesthetic Conflict.

In this class we will attempt to develop the psychoaesthetic point of view systematically, in a way that is faithful to clinical experience and the psychoanalytic literature. Active participation and critical engagement, from both seasoned and new clinicians, is highly sought – especially in this early stage of development and refinement of the ideas.

My long-term goal is that differentiating and developing the psychoaesthetic perspective will be of especial use to many who might be drawn to the richness of the psychoanalytic tradition, or to the practice of a psychodynamic modality, but are unable to find an accessible point of entry. By focusing on the artistry of conducting a psychodynamic process and the aesthetic qualities of psychoanalytic observations, the humanity and beauty of the psychoanalytic tradition will be highlighted and renewed, and participants will be inspired to open more radically to the vitality, horror, and beauty in life and in psychodynamic work with patients.

Course Details

In-Person at the COR office: 2915 E Madison St, Suite 300

Wednesdays at 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Class dates: 9/4, 9/18, 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/6, 11/20

CEUs: 1.5 per class, 10.5 total

Fee: $577.50

Member Fee: $490.00

Instructor

Seth Aichele
Seth AicheleMA, LMHC
Seth Aichele, MA, LMHC, is a psychotherapist, approved supervisor, and theoretician working with adults 1-3x weekly in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. He received his M.A. from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Seth serves the Center for Object Relations in Seattle as Chair of Publications, and sits on the webinar committee. Seth’s research interests include 1.) systematic integration of the metapsychological works of Donald Meltzer, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, and Carl Jung, 2.) the historical and structural origins of the psychodynamic tradition in the philosophy of Friedrich Schelling, 3.) the relationship of depth psychology and psychoanalysis to Christian theology and the philosophy of religion. With Franco Scabbiolo and a cohort of early career therapists in an experimental ‘psychoanalytic atelier’, Seth has been engaged since 2019 in the project of extending Meltzer’s pioneering work in the area of aesthetics and psychodynamic process.