Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy
Training Programs and Workshops


Obsession, Habitual Worrying and Repetitive Fantasizing:
A Perspective from Relational and Integrative Psychotherapy

Dr. Richard G. Erskine
Sponsored by “Bubera” Association “Belcounsel”, and
National Association for Transactional Analysis of Serbia – NATAS.

A three-session Online Seminar: Friday, Saturday & Sunday: March 24, 25 & 26, 2023
(3-hours each day)

Time: Western Europe = 6:00-9:00pm(GMT/UTC + 1h);
UK = 17:00-20:00; NA Pacific time 9:00 am to 12:00 noon;
NA Eastern time 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm

This 3 day, 3-hour each day, Online Seminar is for professionals in all fields of mental health.

Obsession, habitual worrying and repetitive fantasizing, either independently manifested or concomitant with shame, absorb much of our client’s mental activity thereby interfering with their spontaneity, intimacy, and living joyfully in the present. The psychotherapy of obsessions is complex because of the compounded and continually reinforcing multiple intrapsychic functions. A respectful and patient inquiry into the client’s phenomenological experience is required to learn the unique combination of intrapsychic functions.

Obsessions, recurring fantasies, rigid behavioral patterns, and habitualized feelings are all maintained by an individual because they provide significant psychological functions. In an effective psychotherapy, the functions of the repetitive behavior, feeling, or fantasy must first be identified and appreciated by the client prior to any lasting growth or even change.
It is essential in an in-depth treatment of obsession to assess the origins and intrapsychic functions of the repetitive fantasizing and to validate how those multiple functions help the client to maintain psychological homeostasis. In the life of a young child, these psychological functions were originally relational in nature. As a result of relationship failure and the disruption of interpersonal contact, the functions became internalized, defensive, and attached to something intrapsychic, such as obsessive thoughts or feelings, the urge for compulsive behavior, or repetitive fantasy.

Through a relational therapy and phenomenological inquiry the therapist facilitates the client in gaining an awareness of relational needs, appreciating the intrapsychic functions of an obsession, transferring those functions to the therapeutic relationship, and engaging significant others in interpersonal contact.

We will explore the origin of repetitive fantasizing, habitual worrying and obsessions:
• the psychological functions: predictability, identity, continuity, stability;
• script beliefs;
• the processes of avoidance
• archaic experience
• relational-needs; and, I can talk business now
• self-responsibility.

Dr Erskine will present a six-point therapeutic plan for the psychotherapy of clients who engage in obsession, habitual worrying and repetitive fantasizing. The six-point therapy plan focuses on how obsession is often an attempt to disavow affect and engage in intellectualization rather than feel emotions. We will discuss how methods of: cognitive understanding, behavioural change, affective expression and relational psychotherapy can be applied in therapy planning – with a view to reclaiming of our client’s sensitivities to others and their personal sense of contentment.

Participants are encouraged to present their work with clients (in the way that respects confidentiality of the client) and receive supervision from Dr Erskine. This workshop is envisioned as a way to apply theory directly in psychotherapeutic practice with clients.

Contact: Please apply before March 1, 2023. For more information contact:
Zvonko (Zvonimir Ninić);
Phone/Text/Viber/WhatsApp: +38163249239
Web page:
This seminar will be in English with translation into Serbian.
Participants will receive a certificate of 9 hours of education.
The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, by the National Board of Certified Counselors for counselors and by the American Board of Examiners in Pastoral Counseling for pastoral counselors. The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.