Florida Psychoanalytic Center

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Bring Me Your Hungers: Applied Psychoanalysis for the Treatment of Eating Disorders
Speaker: Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D.

March 10 at 8:30 am - 12:00 pm


Contemporary concepts in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy can be usefully applied when working with eating disorder patients and other psychophysiological illnesses. These disorders may symptomatically and briefly improve with more structured modalities but do not necessarily address quality of life or self-development and existential concerns that beguile the patient and family members, Psychoanalytic concepts add something unique that guides the clinician to foster healthy dependency and individuation while confronting unconscious shame, secrets, and existential life and death anxieties. In this presentation we will focus on 4 frequently observed developmental patterns observed within the eating disorder population. Special attention will be paid to the role of false body, no-entry, and omnipotent defenses that accompany eating and psychosomatic disorders. The presentation will be illustrated with art and have a clinical focus using case examples.

Learning Objectives:

  1. The participant will be able to have a working knowledge of and apply key concepts such as pathological accommodation and no-entry and false body defenses to their caseload.
  2. The participant will utilize psychodynamic concepts in establishing and maintaining the therapeutic alliance to improve quality of life in their patients with eating symptoms
  3. The participant will be more conversant with the unconscious meaning of food, eating, and exercise patterns in their patients and in themself.


Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Oregon Psychoanalytic Institute, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University, and Supervising Analyst, Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She has authored over 150 papers, chapters, and reviews and 3 books, including the landmark The Body Betrayed: Women, Eating Disorders and Treatment and Beyond the Body Betrayed: Integrated Treatment of Eating Disorders. Dr. Zerbe speaks nationally and internationally about eating disorders, psychodynamic issues across the lifespan, and the development of creativity in women artists. In 2011 she won the National Eating Disorder Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her clinical, teaching, and writing contributions to the field.


  • Members: $75.00 in advance ($85.00 at the door)
  • Students* $20.00
  • All others: $85.00

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March 10
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Hyatt Regency Coral Gables
50 Alhambra Plaza
Coral Gables, 33134
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(305) 441-1234