The 2012 BPSI Academic Lecture “Mourning as a Psychological Principle” – VIDEO

“Mourning as a Psychological Principle”, presented by Anton O. Kris, MD. Discussants: Lucinda DiDomenico, MD and Rafael Ornstein, MD. Moderator: Richard Gomberg, MD. The First Academic Lecture of 2012-2013, recorded at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute on September 13, 2012.
This lecture reviews psychoanalytic theories of mourning. It emphasizes the tension between acknowledgement of loss and the wish to hold on to the illusion of permanence and continuity. This view of mourning as the process of relieving that tension, a divergent conflict, is elaborated on and illustrated.


  1. Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and Melancholia. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, 237-2582.
  2. Kris, A. O. (1985) Resistance in Convergent and in Divergent Conflicts. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 54: 537-568.
  3. Kris, A. O. (1988) Some Clinical Applications of the Distinction Between Divergent and Convergent Conflicts. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. 69:431-441.

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