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“A Shimmering Landscape: The Imaginative and Actual in Psychic Life” (Dodi Goldman, Ph.D., New York)

  • 18 Sep 2022
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EDT)
  • Virtual


Registration is closed


The poet Elizabeth Bishop’s grandmother had a glass eye. The glass eye often looked heaven- ward, or off at an angle, while the real eye looked directly at you. Bishop’s grandmother’s bifurcated gaze is a useful metaphor for the inherent strain involved in coming to terms with reality, distinct from what psychoanalysis commonly describes as conflict between reality and pleasure. We neither simply “see” an objective reality nor invent a subjective one. In this talk, we will look (with our own bifurcated gaze) at a series of projected images to consider how the idiosyncratic interplay between the actual and imaginative is forged from within our earliest relationships.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

1) Compare divergent psychoanalytic understandings of the role of the imaginative in psychic life.

2) Distinguish between imagination and fantasy.

3) Identify the root of imaginative life in early mother-infant relationships.


Dodi Goldman, Ph.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst and Faculty at the William Alanson White Institute. After living and working in Israel for several years, Dr. Goldman completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at City College, where he served as the chief coordinator and clinical interviewer of a multi-site epidemiological study of psychiatric disorders. He authored and co-authored numerous scientific studies based on this research, and he served as book review editor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis for seven years. Dr. Goldman is the author of two books: Beholder’s Share: Essays on Winnicott and the Psychoanalytic Imagination, which received the 2017 Gradiva Award for Best Book in Psychoanalysis, and In Search of the Real: The Origins and Originality of D.W. Winnicott. He also edited and wrote an introduction to In One’s Bones: The Clinical Genius of D.W. Winnicott. Dr. Goldman.


McGilchrist, I. (2021). The matter with things: Our brains, our delusions, and the unmaking of the world. Perspectiva Press.

Levy, D., & Shalgi, B. (2022). Imagination and fantasy: The dialectic nature of the encounter with trauma and dissociation. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 32(1), 54-69.

Harris, P. (2021). Early constraints on the imagination: The realism of young children. Child Development, 92(2), 466-383.

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