Reviewing Grandparents: Ageing and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on
Guest Speaker: Ronald Ruskin, MD, FRCP[C] Dip Psych [McGill] FAPA
Wednesday December 13, 2023
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
*This is a Zoom Virtual Conference Event*
Ruskin reviews the role of grandparents in contemporary life with
reference to graphic/narrative representations of ageing in art,
children’s [fairy] tales, and societal family life. As analysts we
study individual development in psycho-sexual stages with particular
emphasis on early childhood, pre-oedipal and oedipal issues.
Erikson's writing on the life-cycle included eight stages to the age
of 65, amending a ninth stage of old age shortly before death. From
Freud onward psychoanalysis has focused on treating individuals in
the first half of life. What of the second half of life and
grandparents? What is their role in our understanding the relational
dimensions of psychoanalytic process? Now it is common for
individuals to live productive lives well into their 80’s or 90’s
and it is not unusual for patients to enter psychoanalysis in mature
years. Psychoanalytic candidates are often middle-aged, while many
practicing analysts work well past middle-age. As we and our
patients age, our resilience and capacity to respond to conflict is
influenced by the support of significant others and the strength of
our body-ego. The author cites the reality of the grandparent-child
relationship as a supportive cohesive structure in family and
psychic life. The reciprocal of this relationship is the metaphor of
the adult-child as caregiver to the elder parent/grand-parent. Now,
as analysts, analytic patients, and analytic societies age, may we
discuss the realities, conflicts, and transferences of later life?
The author presents personal experience and clinical examples to
illustrate this perspective.
is no cost for this event, but registration is mandatory.