Dr. Malcolm Slavin will begin the conference with a case presentation that illustrates existential grief and trauma in development and psychoanalysis.  The case is a depiction of troubling bedtime fears that represented the complicated relationship of a mother and her child.  As they addressed these fears in the therapeutic process, the mother and child began to navigate developmental tensions in their relationship.  We come to understand this dynamic in what Dr. Slavin believes Winnicott implicitly recognized as depictive of the larger, universally human, existential and relational issues that underlie the capacity for connection, aloneness, and the vital use of the other in development as well as in the therapeutic process.  In our group discussion, we will consider the way that many of our patients probe us to process and understand our capacity to bear our own, as well as their anxieties around what is finite, mortal, and rife with issues around otherness in human relating.  We will consider how an open engagement in the reciprocity of that process may foster the creation of a complex, relationally achieved, form of empathy.