Psychoanalytic Perspective in Helping a Patient Transform from Psychic Pain to Mental Suffering

This series will focus on patients who are chronically stuck in psychic pain and unable to suffer in creative ways. Dr. Panajian will make use of contributions from Bion, Klein and Winnicott in exploring what makes a patient repeat psychic pain and be unable to live creatively. Avoidable suffering will be discussed and differentiated from unavoidable suffering. The cultural impact in promoting and devaluing suffering will also be focused. The psychotherapist’s subtle ways of promoting a suffering free life if the patient submits to psychotherapy will be discussed. The role of fear, passivity and short-cuts to suffering will be demonstrated by clinical examples. Dr. Panajian will explore Bion’s comments about the psychotherapist losing sight of the fact that the patient is suffering and indeed almost forgets that the patient suffers. Dr. Panajian will present clinical examples of repetition compulsions that lead to psychic pain and seriously hinder psychic growth.

Participants will learn to:

  • Detect, explore and understand the role of excessive fear of pain that paralyzes a patient from growing and becoming a creative person.
  • Help transform a patient from chronic psychic pain to psychic suffering and discovery.
  • Differentiate healthy suffering from repetitive chronic pain that leads to passivity and loss of self.

Course Details

Online via Zoom

Saturdays at 9:30 – 11:00 am

Class dates: 9/14, 10/12, 11/09, 01/04, 02/01, 03/01

CEUs: 1.5 per class, 9.0 total

Fee: $495.00

Member Fee: $420.75


Avedis Panajian
Avedis PanajianPhD, ABPP
Avedis Panajian PhD, ABPP is fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at Psychoanalytic Center of California and a founding member of Psychoanalytic Center of California and Newport Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology , chaired Diplomate examinations, and served as a board member of the Western Regional Board of Professional Psychology. He served as a licensure examiner for the Board of Psychology in California and has received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Board. He has received several awards for his teaching including the Distinguished Educator Award from California Psychological Association in 1985. He was a professor of Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute since 1986 and is currently Professor Emeritus at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Dr.Panajian’s interest is treating patients who suffer from primitive mental states. His interest is in integrating psychoanalysis with existential-phenomenological lens.