"You Are My Everything -- Idealization and its Limits"

  • Wednesday, October 10, 2018
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Luton Conference Room, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, 1601 23rd Avenue South Nashville, TN 37212


  • If you are not a current member, there is a $10 fee for this event.
  • If you are a current member of the organization, there is no additional fee for this event.

Registration is closed

You Are My Everything -- Idealization and its Limits

Volney Gay, Ph.D.

Idealization is an intense, probably universal, capacity to experience another person as 'my everything.' He or she fulfills all one's desires, needs, and wants. Around the idealized person, everything and everyone else pales. In the context of romantic love, idealization is harmless. When it appears in psychotherapy and when it occurs in political movements it is limiting, sometimes even dangerous. In contrast to idealization, the ego ideal is a person with whose achievements we identify. I discuss Abraham Lincoln as both an idealized figure and as an ego ideal.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. To understand Idealization as a defense.
  2. To see how it pertains to celebrities and our fantasies about them.
  3. To recognize the dangers of political idealization.
  4. To distinguish Idealization from the Ego Ideal.


6:30 – 7:00 Beverages & hors d'oeuvres
7:00 – 8:30 Presentation and discussion

Parking is available in the garage on Children's Way.

Enter VPH through the northeast side of building facing the South Garage near Children’s Hospital

(see map below)

Continuing Education:

If you wish Continuing Education credits:  1.5 hrs CE offered (cost $10.00 for non-members).  If you want to sign up for CEs in advance, you may register online at nashville-psychoanalytic.org or  nashville-psychoanalytic.wild-apricot.org or you can register at the event.

The Nashville Center for Psychoanalysis & Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to provide continuing education credits for psychologists. The Nashville Center for Psychoanalysis & Psychodynamic Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


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