Topic: ‘Peritraumatic Dissociation in Response to Terrorist Attacks’


Friends Hospital (Image via

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Thursday, November 17, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Scattergood Auditorium, Friends Hospital
4641 Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia

Peritraumatic Dissociation in Response to Terrorist Attacks

Presented By
Ira Brenner, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College and the Psychoanalytic Institute

Target Audience
Department of Psychiatry staff, clinical staff at Friends Hospital and clinical staff of affiliate programs, e.g., St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Northwestern Human Services and Northeast Community Mental Health Center.

via Drexel Med Monitor

Posted in Discussion, Events, Lecture, Presentation

Keynote at ESTD 2016


APRIL 14 – 16 2016, AMSTERDAM
Trauma, dissociation and affect dysregulation across the life-span

Keynote speaker: Ira Brenner MD


Massive psychic trauma due to genocidal persecution leaves an indelible imprint upon the psyche. These effects, however, may be variable due to many factors, such as one’s age during the onset of the trauma, the nature of the trauma, it’s duration, post liberation experiences, etc. While these effects persist throughout one’s life, this presentation will focus on the the end of the life cycle, when survivors, like everyone else, are faced with the prospect of infirmity, illness, dependence, loss of loved ones, helplessness, and ultimately death. There may be an emergence, re emergence, intensification, and/or transformation of Holocaust memory and symptoms as the sands of time in the hourglass of life are running out. This phenomenon appears to be on a continuum with the so- called deathbed confession and the doorknob phenomenon at the end of a therapy session. The extent to which Holocaust trauma is integrated as opposed to being walled off through repression or dissociation also influences this “hourglass effect”.

Findings will be presented from the clinical situation, a semi-structured interviewing project with child survivors, survivors’ testimony, accounts in the literature, and personal relationships.

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The 10th Annual Akhtar-Brenner Lecture on Psychoanalysis at Thomas Jefferson University


The 10th Annual Akhtar-Brenner Lecture on Psychoanalysis, presented by Michael Vergare MD, was held at Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia, PA on November 4, 2015.

The esteemed speaker was Susan G. Lazar, MD with a talk entitled, “The Cost-Effectiveness of Psychotherapy, The Role of Dynamic Therapies and Some Thoughts on the Power of Mind.”

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‘Dark Matters’ book signing @ PCOP


Book Signing: Dark Matters: Exploring the Realm of Microsoft PowerPoint - Brenner_booksigning_flyerPsychic Devastation
Author: Dr. Ira Brenner
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Rockland Mansion – East Fairmount Park
3810 Mt Pleasant Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Sponsored by The Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia (PCOP):

This book takes a deeper look into the darker side of the human condition by examining the psyches of those who have been victims or survivors of heinous acts perpetrated by others. From the “personal Holocaust” of sexual abuse in the family, to the genocidal persecution during “the” Holocaust, and from the shared national horror of September 11 to the Palestinian/Israeli situation, a special model of the traumatized mind is evolved to further our understanding of such “dark matters”.

The traditional models of the mind fall short when dealing with extraordinary people under ordinary conditions as well as with ordinary people under extraordinary conditions. This metapsychology is organized around the defensive operations of repression or splitting. In the model proposed here, defensive altered states of consciousness, or dissociation seems more helpful. A historical perspective is offered, from Freud and Breuer, with their studies on hysteria, to current thinking about dissociative disorders. A developmental line of dissociation is also explored. Extensive case material is presented to illustrate the theoretical as well as technical challenges of working with the lapses of memory, unbearable affects, and countertransference demands upon the clinician.


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Master Class: A Clinical Picture of Trauma and Dissociation


Presented by Ira Brenner
Saturday April 25, 2015
in Richmond Heights, MO
at the home of Diane Venker, MEd, LCSW


Educational Objectives:
1) Describe and illustrate the manifestations of dissociative psychopathology in traumatized patients.
2) Describe the psychodynamic approach to the treatment of such individuals.
3) Outline the clinical course of treatment and the relevance of the “mosaic transference.”
4) Identify the challenges of working with trauma and dissociative phenomena.
Reading: A New View from the Acropolis: Dissociative Identity Disorder (2009) Psychoanalytic Quarterly 78:57-105

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Photos: ‘Dark Matters’ book signing

Dark Matters: Exploring the Realm of Psychic Devastation
Book signing event in Philadelphia, PA | February 15, 2015
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Dark Matters: Exploring the Realm of Psychic Devastation available at and

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The 9th Annual Akhtar-Brenner Lecture on Psychoanalysis at Thomas Jefferson University

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The 9th Annual Akhtar-Brenner Lecture on Psychoanalysis was held at Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia, PA on October 8, 2014.

The esteemed speaker was Norman Doidge, MD with a talk entitled, “The Neuroplasticity Revolution.”

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