A Heart Shattered, the Private Self, and a Life Unlived: An Existential-Humanistic Approach to Relentless Despair

June 5, 2021, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM

9:00 AM - 1:30 PM Pacific Time

(12:00 - 4:30 PM ET)

with Martha Stark, MD


This meeting will take place online via Zoom. Once you register, you will receive an email with the link and more information.

*** Registration will close at 8:00 AM on the day of the event. No registrations are possible after this time.

All times listed are in Pacific Time (PST) unless otherwise noted


Co-Sponsored by
The WILA Alumni Association &
New Center for Psychoanalysis


Patients who have never fully confronted – and grieved – the pain of their early-on heartbreak will often cling tenaciously to their hope that perhaps someday the object of their desire will be forthcoming. But there are others who, in the aftermath of their early-on heartbreak, will find themselves withdrawing completely from the world of objects – their hearts shattered – only then to find themselves overwhelmed by a terrifying sense of alienation and harrowing loneliness. Instead of relentless hope, their experience is of relentless despair.

In this Presentation, clinical vignettes will be offered that demonstrate how the therapist, ever attuned to the patient’s intense ambivalence about remaining hidden vs. becoming found, can help the patient overcome her dread of surrender to resourceless dependence (Khan 1972) such that there can be moments of authentic meeting (Guntrip 1969) between patient and therapist that restore purpose, direction, and meaning to an existence that might otherwise have remained desolate, impoverished, and desperately lonely. 



Saturday, June 5, 9am-1:30pm Pacific Time


Learning Objectives

By the end of this conference, participants will be able to:

  • Highlight the primary difference between relentless hope and relentless despair
  • Elaborate upon the patient’s intense ambivalence about entering into the world of objects
  • Explain the relevance of the concept of dreading surrender to resourceless dependence upon another
  • Expound upon the importance of moments of authentic meeting as offering opportunity for restoring purpose, meaning, and direction to a life otherwise unlived




Martha Stark, MD, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is a Holistic (Adult and Child) Psychiatrist / Psychoanalyst in private practice in Boston, Massachusetts.

Martha is Faculty, Harvard Medical School; Co-Founder / Co-Director / Faculty, Center for Psychoanalytic Studies; Faculty, Psychiatry Redefined; Faculty / Scientific Advisory Board, Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine; Adjunct Faculty, William James College and Smith College School for Social Work; Former Faculty, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Martha is an award-winning author of eight books on psychoanalytic theory and practice – several of which are “required reading” at various psychoanalytic training institutes and in psychodynamic psychotherapy programs both here in this country and abroad.

Board Certified by the American Association of Integrative Medicine, Martha contributes chapters to integrative medicine textbooks and articles to peer-reviewed toxicology / environmental medicine journals. She also serves on the editorial/advisory boards of various holistic health publications.


Target audience: Mental health professionals at the intermediate level

4 CE/CME Credits



Early Registration, Before 5/29/2021
General - $130
WILA Alumni & NCP Members - $120
Students- $65
Registration After 5/29/2021
General - $150
WILA Alumni and NCP Members - $140
Students - $80


After you register, you will receive 2 emails: a receipt email and an email with the Zoom link



IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME/CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

PHYSICIANS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for the maximum of 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.  


The New Center for Psychoanalysis is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency. 

REGISTERED NURSES: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.