Two Honors for Danielle Knafo

The 2015 Barbro Sandin Award

Danielle Knafo is the recipient of the 2015 Barbro Sandin award, in recognition of her work to promote humane psychological treatment of psychosis and to train students in the treatment of psychosis. This will be awarded at the upcoming ISPS conference in New York City this March, where Knafo will also give a workshop entitled Outpatient Treatment with Psychosis: Managing Isolation and Creating Safety. Her blog,, now has over 20,000 followers.

The Barbro Sandin Award was created in 2008 by Dr. JoAnn Elizabeth Leavey, in honor of Barbro Sandin, who found ways to work with vulnerable persons with psychotic experiences, individuals who, in some cases, were deemed untreatable by mainstream psychiatry. The award is financed by the Barbro Sandin Foundation. The award honors a woman leader in psychological treatment every two years at the ISPS International Congress.

The 2014 CORST Prize

Danielle Knafo’s paper For the Love of Death: Necrophilic and Somnophilic Acts and Fantasies was awarded the 2014 CORST Prize by the American Psychoanalytic Association. This award recognizes the best essay on psychoanalytically informed research in the biobehavioral sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.  She presented this paper at the American Psychoanalytic Association’s winter meetings in January.

Despite its transgression against the strongest social boundary in existence—the one separating the dead from the living—necrophilia has been practiced since ancient times. The few psychoanalytic studies that exist on the topic were written decades ago. This paper explores necrophilic fantasies and acts in clinical material, film (Pedro Almodovar’s Talk to Her), and real-life stories of individuals known to engage in romantic or sexual behavior with those who are sleeping, drugged, immobile, inanimate, comatose, or dead. It is argued that such fantasies are more common than believed and that they involve reunion with the mother, an inability to mourn, and an attempt at mastering and transcending the fear of death.

knafophoto0215wDanielle Knafo, PhD
email: Danielle Knafo