Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down: Technical Approaches to Masochism

This workshop will emphasize how ubiquitous sado-masochistic phenomena are, and the degree to which they pose the greatest problems in psychotherapy. It will be proposed that most cases of intractable resistances involve sado-masochism and the difficulty in trying to help a patient to feel better when he or she is unconsciously committed to suffering. After developing this thesis, the presenters will discuss the most common dynamic and structural contributors to masochism in an effort to explicate appropriate treatment strategies. The audience will be encouraged to discuss their own clinical cases in order to study these phenomena more closely, while the faculty will discuss some of their own cases to add to the discussion. A developmental framework will be used to demonstrate that children as well as adults present with such difficulties.


Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
8:30 AM - Registration/Light Breakfast



4455 Morena Boulevard, Suite 202
San Diego, CA 92117
United States
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$35 for SDPC Members
$50 for Non-members
$20 for Students

Educational Objective(s)

  • Delineate clinical examples of sado-masochistic phenomena.
  • Describe various dynamic and structural meanings of such phenomena.
  • Implement treatment strategies appropriate to these various dynamic and structural contributors.

Presenter Information

Tara Robbins, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapy Instructor and Supervisor at SDPC and has a private practice in child and adult clinical psychology in La Jolla.

Alan Sugarman, Ph.D. is a child, adolescent, and adult Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at SDPC and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSD. He, too, has a private practice in La Jolla.