PINC Visiting Scholar Michael O'Loughlin

Ancestral, spectral and genealogical considerations in the clinic

Michael O'Loughlin

Saturday Dec 9, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

IN PERSON and ZOOM event. Register for links.

Dr. O'Loughlin will discuss the melancholic sequelae of malignant familial and societal events, pondering what might enable a child to nurture a capacity for imagining self as agentic, creative; as deserving the right to exist.


I grew up in Ireland in a poor working-class community. A protracted illness in infancy rendered me acutely sensitive to the nameless dread and other sequelae that can arise from early occlusion in the parent-child relationship. Growing up working-class in Ireland, a country with sanctioned inferiorization, no doubt rooted in a thousand years of colonialism, has made me aware of the difficulty of simply shrugging off genealogical layers and spectral inheritances and claiming freedom and possibility. Familial occlusion is familiar territory for psychoanalysis, exemplified by the work of Aulagnier, Eigen, Green, Winnicott, Lacan, etc. who have addressed the complexity of taking in the symbolic system of the world through encounter with the parental Other. Ancestral, spectral and genealogical aspects of subject formation have been well addressed in the intergenerational trauma literature though often in narrowly intrapsychic ways.

Decolonizing work adds another lens.

I will seek to illustrate the melancholic sequelae of malignant familial and societal events and to ponder how we might enable a child to nurture a capacity for imagining self as agentic and creative or even as deserving of the right to exist in such circumstances.

CE Credits offered: 2

Course Objectives

After completing this course participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the effects of familial and societal occlusion on the developing psyche of the child.
  2. Offer clinical illustration of how an awareness of these occlusions may inform an emancipatory approach to work in the clinic. – 415-288-4050 — 530 Bush St, Suite 700, SF CA USA —

The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PINC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Visit for policies and disclaimers.

December 9th, 2023 10:00 AM
530 Bush Street
Suite 703
San Francisco, CA 94108
United States
Event Fee(s)
General Admission $ 20.00
Members (free) $ 0.00
CE Credits (2) $ 20.00