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

Saturday, June 5th, 2021, 9:00am – 1:30pm
4.0 CE/CME Credits

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


The WILA Alumni Association is excited to present our next online CE event. Although we are online, we will continue hosting CE events on topics important to our community as well as clinical development.

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.


This 4 CE/CME event is at the intermediate level.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the program participants should 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


Saturday, June 5th, 2021
9am – 1:30pm PST (12pm-4:30pm EST)


Online CE event via Zoom. Link to be provided once registration is confirmed.

  • In order to receive full CE credit you must attend entire event. Instructions for signing in and out will be sent the day prior to event with zoom link reminder.
  • Due to the confidentiality of the material presented, we request all attendees leave their video ON during the presentation so that we may monitor who is in attendance. Those with their video off will be removed from the meeting.


Feel free to park on your couch, or anywhere you feel comfortable.


We can help!

Martha Stark, MD

Martha Stark, MD

 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.