Psychoanalysis is Slow Therapy

Psychology and the Other Conference
Manifesto Fest
October 10, 2015, Boston


The Task of A Past

Psychology and the Other Conference
With Donna Orange, Hunter Efrat Robinson and Moderator James W Jones
October 9, 2015, Boston

psychology and the other


The Task of a Past

Ethics After Psychoanalysis: With Donna Orange, Hunter Efrat Robinson and Moderator James W Jones
October 9, 2015, 9:00AM

Psychoanalysis is Slow Therapy

Manifesto Fest: With Robert Berezin, Jill Gentile, Lynne Layton, Tracy Morgan, Peter Shabad, Lara Sheehi
October 10, 2015, 3:30PM

Others to Ourselves

Steven Kuchuck, Galit Atlas, Hillary Grill
Respondent Malcolm Owen Slavin
Moderator: Esther Sperber
October 10, 2015, 5:15PM

complete conference program



The Paradox Of Communal Prayer

The Jewish Week
September 24, 2015

“The synagogue’s primary function is what happens in its sanctuary, the space in which the congregation prays together. But there is a basic contradiction between sincere, personal prayer and the communal, synagogue setting. In prayer, we strive to connect to our most personal feelings of longing, hope, regret and gratitude. For some, this is a transcendent conversation with a divine God, while others may use prayer as a tool for personal introspection and reflection.”

The Architecture of Psychotherapy


The Architecture of Psychotherapy

The New York Times
June 9, 2015

“If you listen to psychotherapists when they talk to one another, you will often hear them speak of something called the “therapeutic frame.” This term, coined by the psychoanalyst Marion Milner, refers to the set of conventions and ground rules that structure the therapeutic experience. Just as the frame of a painting defines the borders of a work of art, the therapeutic frame is the “container” in which the therapy takes place.”

“Architecture is a meditation on entering and exiting.”



Manifesto Fest

Spring Meeting of Division 39
The Psychoanalytic Division of the American Psychological Association
with: Will Braun, Jill Gentile, Laynn Layton, Tiffanly McLain, Tracy Morgan, Jonathan Shedler and Robert Stolorow
April 23, 2015, San Francisco



From (Ex)Site to (In)Sight, Reflecting on Rem’s Biennale

July 18, 2014

Rem Koolhaas, chief curator of the 2014 Venice Biennale, managed to excite us, again forcing us to rethink the Elements and Fundamentals of architecture. For me, this is the first time I felt a real desire to visit the show, which I have always imagined to be more like an amusement park for new design.
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Letters to the Mayor

Opening: April 29 7pm
Storefront for Art and Architecture

Dear Mayor,
Site, Insight, Incite!
Human knowing is complex and magnificent. We know with our mind and body, in waking thought and dream images, in memory and amnesia, in enactment and insight. We know as monads and dyads and triads and fields. We know with language and fantasy, with sex, and gender, and queerness. We know through traumas, and pleasures, culture and politics, drive and instinct, cognition and emotion, aggression and love.
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Site, Incite and Insight: Psychoanalyis and Architecture

Published Paper in Psychoanalytic Perspective
February, 2014

“Coming from the field of architecture, Sperber explores the processes in which buildings expand the range of human experiences. Using the nineteenth century term empathy from philosophy of art as well as current psychoanalytic notions of mentalization and the relational understanding of trauma, she contends that the building can reconnect the inhabitant to affects that have been avoided, split off or dissociated by trauma or non-reflective parenting. She further articulates the difference between architecture and the Winnicottian transitional object. While the transitional object garners its power through the child’s projection of affect to compensate for the unavailable mother, buildings always act as both symbols of their functions and the embodiment of the function they represent. Buildings literally and emotionally contain, shelter and protect. The building in site creates new personal and social experiences which, like psychoanalytic insight,foster new ways of being.”



Jews, Women, Architects. At the Same Time.

Lilith Magazine
By: Melissa Tapper Goldman

“Architect Esther Sperber, the daughter of a Talmud scholar, draws on the poetics of space as well as creative problem-solving—two of architecture’s key concerns—for her work with Jewish organizations and beyond. In 2008, she won a competition to design the Kesher synagogue in Englewood, New Jersey (unbuilt). Beginning with the community’s name, meaning knot or connection, she organized her design around the concept of continuous connectedness, creating a network of ramps to aid members of different ability levels in accessing the sanctuary on Shabbat without the aid of an elevator, a priority for the Orthodox congregation. For ornament and texture, Sperber incorporated the evocative beauty of Hebrew script, bringing the centrality of text in Jewish life into physical form. Her design carves the structure into the surrounding landscape, resulting in an L-shaped sanctuary that creates women’s and men’s sections in a non-hierarchical orientation, each enjoying open vistas and natural daylighting… ”



LILITH: Gender and Genius

By: Esther Sperber
October, 2013

“After months of architectural design, we finally entered the site for our first weekly construction meeting. The general contractor had started the demolition, and I was excited to see the bare space, its walls and other distractions removed, and to imagine the place as we’d designed it. Richard and I entered the apartment for the meeting. Raymond, our contractor, was late, but the new site manager was waiting. When he noticed us, he walked over to Richard, a graying man of around 60, shook his hand and introduced himself. Richard, accustomed to this situation, introduced himself, smiled and then introduced me, announcing, “Please meet my boss, Esther.”

In the 10 years I’ve been running my architectural practice, I, like Richard, have gotten accustomed to people assuming that my male employees are the lead architects who will be making final decisions. Yet this time a lingering frustration colored the rest of my day, a sense that while feminism has made significant progress on a conscious level, little change has trickled down into the unconscious of our culture…”



Kissing Disciplines

Response to Lew Aron’s Plenary Address
Psychology and the Other Conference
Lesley University, Cambridge MA
October 4-6, 2013

“Sylvia Lavin writes in her book “Kissing Architecture”:
“A kiss is the coming together of two similar but not identical surfaces, surfaces that soften, flex, and deform when in contact, a performance of temporary singularities.” (Lavin, 2011)

I get a bit excited when reading Lavin’s phenomenology of kissing. Not only because kissing is arousing, but, also, because Lavin employs kissing to suggest a way for two disciplines to interact…I am excited to envision a place in which psychoanalysis and its acceptance of the disorganized human mind can kiss the thoughtful reasoning philosophy, the wonderment of religion and perhaps even the concrete usefulness of architecture.”