Each meeting of this group will consist of two parts. In the first part, a pre-circulated paper by an important psychoanalytic author will be discussed. The papers will generally be predominantly clinical in orientation. Discussion will focus on the clinical usefulness of the concepts and case examples in each paper. The group leaders will attempt to choose papers that are important, evocative, reasonably accessible, and offer a variety of perspectives, in an order that is palatable and workable. The discussion of the paper generally should take no more than half an hour.
The bulk of each seminar usually will consist of a clinical discussion. In each seminar, one participant will provide a clinical presentation, consisting first of the history of a patient being treated with individual psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy. Participants are encouraged to provide detailed histories of their patients/clients, especially regarding early development, childhood and current relationships, the patient-therapist relationship, and a summary of the treatment process so far. After a preliminary discussion based on participants’ thoughts about the history, the presenter will present process notes of sessions. The major portion of the seminar will consist of a discussion of various aspects of the treatment as described in the process notes. Participants are encouraged to bring as detailed as possible narratives of psychotherapy sessions; the more detailed the notes, the more meaningful will be the discussion. The leaders wish to emphasize the importance of this.
Each seminar usually will involve discussing notes from two or three psychotherapy sessions. It can be very useful to bring notes from consecutive sessions, in order to see the patient’s response to one session in subsequent session(s). Presentations and discussions are anticipated to be informal and interactive. An important goal of this seminar series is the establishment and maintenance of a mutually supportive and trusting learning atmosphere. Spontaneity and honesty of thought, gently offered, are more important here than elegance of style or comprehensiveness of formulation. The focus is on the group working productively together, as opposed to the imposition of arbitrary standards. An implicit goal is the maintenance of a cohesive working group in which participants can develop psychotherapeutic skills and acquire knowledge of the psychoanalytic literature pertinent to psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
The emphasis in this group is not on didactic teaching but on the interaction among participants and leader, based on the notion that “Many heads are better than one”, and that the experience of thinking together about our patients can generate ideas that we would be unlikely to come up with on our own. The Talmudic idea that if one wants to study, “First get a friend”, applies. This group is ongoing, meeting 4 times on an approximately monthly basis between September and December 2018. It is an open group; participants may apply to join at times after any unit has begun.
After each unit of this course, participants can expect to have
1. Enhanced familiarity with some contemporary psychoanalytic literature, in particular with regards to applications of psychoanalytic theory to the practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy;
2. Increased skill in the practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy; and
3. Increased ability to think about psychoanalytic psychotherapy in a group setting.
Withdrawal Policy: The withdrawal policy of the extension program allows refund minus 10% administered of cost, up to one week before the beginning of the course. There will be no refunds after September 7, 2018.