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Freud’s Tin Ear–Joel Whitebrook, PhD

April 13 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Presenter: Joel Whitebook, PhD


In this paper, Dr. Whitebook examines a curious fact in Freud’s life to elucidate the central thesis of his intellectual biography of the analyst: namely, that the figure of the early mother is largely missing in Freud’s thinking.  That fact was a strong aversion to music, which was almost unheard of in Vienna, the city of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.  Following some insights of the musicologist and historian of religion, Romain Rolland, who was a highly respected friend of Freud’s, Dr. Whitebook maintains that this aversion points to Freud’s almost phobic discomfort with early experience and the figure of the archaic mother.  After establishing his thesis of “the missing mother,” he then traces some of it consequences for the development of psychoanalysis in general.

CE Objectives:

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  1.  Present a new interpretation of Freud’s biography which corrects a lacuna in the standard accounts; and
  2.  Demonstrate and elucidate Freud’s difficulty with preoedipal experience and the figure of the early mother and to trace the consequences of that difficulty for Freud’s thinking and psychoanalysis in general.

Joel Whitebook, PhD is the author of Freud: An Intellectual Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2017. Dr Whitebook is on the faculty of Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and the Psychoanalytic Training Institute of the New York Freudian Society. He is former Director of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program, Columbia University, and is currently Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.  He maintained a private practice in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in New York from 1985-2016.

Details regarding meeting time, cost, and location will follow. For any further questions, please contact APS Program Committee Chair, Nancy D. Chase, PhD, LCSW, nchase.lcsw@gmail.com


About Continuing Education

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

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 (name of accredited provider) and (name of nonaccredited provider). The (name of accredited provider) is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.”

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. CEU credits will be provided for Social Workers, LPCs, and LMFTs.



April 13
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Nancy Chase, PhD, LCSW