Presented by:

Danielle Knafo, Ph.D.
Winner of the 2014 Corst Essay Prize APSAA

In this paper, Dr. Knafo demonstrates the forms of fantasy, playacting, and actual behavior that lie along a spectrum of romantic or sexual behavior involving people who are sleeping, drugged, immobile, inanimate, comatose, or dead. Regardless of these distinctions, however, the underlying dynamics commonly involve reunion with the mother, an inability to mourn, fear of the female, and an attempt at mastering and transcending the fear of death. To highlight these psychodynamics, a clinical case of somnophilia, Pedro Almodóvar's Talk to Her (a film about romantic relationships with comatose women), and the case of Count von Cosel, a quixotic necrophiliac, are presented. Gender differences are emphasized in the analysis of case material and cultural tropes.

Danielle Knafo, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, a prolific author, and a popular speaker. She is also a professor at LIU-Post in its clinical psychology doctoral program. Additionally, she is faculty and supervisor at NYU’s Postdoctoral Program for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She writes and lectures on many subjects, including creativity, trauma, psychosis, sexuality and gender, and technology. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan and Great Neck, NY.

2 CEUs will be offered for this workshop.

Location: Training Institute for Mental Health
                 115 West 27th Street, 4th Floor.

Please email Heather deCastro at

Everyone must register  
Please indicate if you would like CEU Credit so we can print a certificate.

Psychoanalytic  Society members & TI students come for free but must register by emailing

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