Gestalt and psychoanalytic reflections on shame and dignity in the consulting room, in society, and in times of war 

Trainer: Lynne Jacobs, Ph. D., Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP) and Pacific Gestalt Institute  (PGI), Los Angeles

Milan (Italy), November 11-12, 2022

Our patients may well feel ashamed that they have not been able to solve their life problems using their own resources. Shame and indignity are rife in European and American capitalist, competitive cultures. And shame lurks in the shadows of the individuation process, as we differentiate ourselves from societal and family “rules” with which we disagree, but which comprise our ground of being. Also, when our “taken-for-granted” experiential world is disrupted, such as in a war, there are specific variants of shame that suffuse our personal and societal fields. 

Thus, a patient’s sense of dignity is never far from our mind when we are having conversations with our patients. There is an overall felt sense that all of our conversations are navigations through the waters of dignity and indignity.


Lynne Jacobs, PhD, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP) and Pacific Gestalt Institute  (PGI), Los Angeles

Lynne Jacobs
Ph.D., Both a gestalt therapist and a psychoanalyst, she is a co-founder of PGI. She is also a training and supervising analyst of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP) in Los Angeles. Lynne Jacobs teaches at ICP, and teaches gestalt therapists locally, nationally, and internationally. She has published numerous articles in both realms, and her most recent work is Relational Approaches in Gestalt Therapy (co-edited with Rich Hycner). Lynne Jacobs has a private practice in West Los Angeles.


Friday, November 11, 2022

Hopes, fears and shame as figure and as personal and societal ground 

Many of our patients know indignity all too well. They enter our office suffused with shame, sometimes conscious sometimes not. And just the fact that they are seeking our help is another indignity. Shame in its many forms, from embarrassment to mortification to humiliation, can be considered the primary emotion of indignity. Our patients must bare their souls to a stranger, someone who may or may not welcome their fears, their longings, their vulnerabilities, their failures and their shame.

Introduction by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb

Lecture by Lynne Jacobs and Discussion

Personal works by Lynne Jacobs and Discussion

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Power, vulnerability and shame in the consulting room

Both participants in the therapy relationship are personally and professionally vulnerable. No one is immune from narcissistic vulnerability, including the therapist. Therapists want to have the experience of being liked, respected, viewed as helpful, for instance. How do these desires get managed in difficult therapeutic processes?

We will explore together the vagaries of power and vulnerability, in hopes we can become more sensitized to the interplay of power and vulnerability in our therapy relationships, and perhaps we can also become more graceful when these themes become disruptive forces in our work. 

Lecture by Lynne Jacobs and Discussion

Personal works by Lynne Jacobs and Discussion


English and Italian (with translation).


Hotel Lombardia, Viale Lombardia, 74, 20131 Milano (Italy), Metro Station Loreto (Google maps).


Information on different categories of accommodation in the area where the training will take place will be provided.


350 Euro
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