past events & lectures

  • 2016
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  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • Friends of the Abraham A. Brill Library

    Facing Cancer and the Fear of Death: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Treatment

    Thursday, April 18, 2013
    7:30 PM

    New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute and Friends of the Abraham A. Brill Library present a discussion of the influential new book Facing Cancer and the Fear of Death: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Treatment with author Dr. Norman Straker.

    Donations Accepted

    New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
    247 East 82nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
    The Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium


    NORMAN STRAKER, MD is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell College of Medicine, a consultant at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Adjunct Lecturer at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and a member of the faculty of New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute. Dr. Straker also maintains a private practice in New York City. His main area of interest is the subject of his recent book Facing Cancer and the Fear of Death: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Treatment.

    Dr. Straker has 35 years of experience with cancer patients and their families. He was one of the original faculty members of the very first psycho oncology program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. While there he taught courses on psychodynamic psychotherapy, was a consultant to oncologists, conducted empirical research, and participated in the production of two widely distributed teaching videos. Currently, he teaches a course on facing death to psychiatry residents, hematology-oncology and palliative care fellows at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. His psychoanalytic teaching is at NYPSI where he teaches candidates, psychotherapy associates and extension classes. Dr. Straker has chaired a discussion group on the topic of “Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Cancer Patients” for the American Psychoanalytic Association for more than 25 years.
    In Facing Cancer and the Fear of Death: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Treatment, Dr. Norman Straker proposes that “death anxiety” is responsible for the American society’s failure to address costly futile care at the end of life; more specifically, doctors default on the appropriate prescription of palliative care because of this anxiety. This leads to unnecessary suffering for terminally-ill patients and their families and significant distress for physicians. To address these challenges in the culture of medical education, increased psychological support for physicians who treat dying patients is necessary. Additionally, physicians need to reach a consensus regarding the discontinuation of active treatments.

    Psychoanalysts have traditionally denied the importance of death anxiety and report relatively few treatment cases of dying patients in their literature. This book offers multiple treatment reports by psychoanalysts that illustrate the effectiveness and value of a flexible approach to patients facing death. The psychoanalytic reader is expected to gain a greater level of comfort with facing death and is encouraged to consider making themselves more available to the ever-increasing population of cancer survivors. Further, psychoanalysts are encouraged to be more useful partners to the oncologists that are burdened by the irrational feelings of all parties.


guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •