Bruce Wine Memorial Conference 2010

Psychoanalytic Complexity: Innovations in Therapeutic Attitudes and Clinical Practice

with William J. Coburn, PhD, PsyD

Saturday, December 4, 2010
9am – 5:15pm (coffee & registration begins at 8:15am)
National 4-H Conference Center
7100 Connecticut Avenue
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20814

William Coburn will discuss Psychoanalytic Complexity—a contemporary approach to applying nonlinear dynamics systems theory to psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice. Although well established in disciplines such as physics, molecular biology, and many other natural sciences, the study of complexity is relatively new to psychoanalysis where it is now revolutionizing our views about the emergence and transformation of emotional life and meaning. Psychoanalytic therapists are thereby offered a richer paradigm with which to engage in the experiential worlds of each of their patients.

Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory embodies a deep respect for the complexity of human experiencing, profoundly altering our conceptualizations of human development, psychopathology, relationality, and therapeutic action and change.

Complexity is concerned with:

  • The emergence and patterning of emotional experience;
  • The conditions necessary to produce adaptive change;
  • The process of making meaning out of apparent randomness;
  • The process by which the “rules” of human relating change as a result of the “play;”
  • A vision of the clinical narrative as an emergent property of the larger relational and historical system of which each of us is an integral constituent.

William Coburn’s explication of Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory will include a slide and video presentation along with rich clinical examples. Registrants can expect to leave with a sound understanding of the fundamentals of complexity theory and its therapeutic application to human relating, emotional experience, meaning-making, and therapeutic action and change.

Conference Schedule

9:00am – 9:15am Welcome and Introduction
9:15am – 10:45am Presentation and Large Group Discussion: Psychoanalytic Complexity
10:45am – 11:15am Break
11:15am – 12:15pm Small Group Discussion
12:15pm – 1:30pm Lunch — Rosemary Segalla will remember Bruce Wine
1:30pm – 3:30pm Using Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory Clinically
3:30pm – 3:45pm Break
3:45pm – 4:45pm Small Group Discussions
4:45pm – 5:15pm Large group discussion


William Coburn is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and is an Editorial Board Member of Psychoanalytic Inquiry. He is a Faculty Member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. He is a Council Member of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and an Advisory Board Member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Author of numerous articles and book chapters, he has researched and written extensively in the areas of intersubjectivity, complexity, countertransference, and supervision. He has co-edited and published, with Nancy VanDerHeide, Self and Systems: Explorations in Contemporary Self Psychology (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2009), and, with Roger Frie, Persons In Context: The Challenge of Individuality in Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2010). He is currently writing a book titled, Psychoanalytic Complexity: Attitudes That Matter In Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this conference, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss how and why complexity theory has emerged as a vital influence in contemporary psychoanalytic theory. ·
  • Describe the current usage of this theoretical approach in informing our ideas about human development, psychopathology, relationality, and the process of change. ·
  • Apply these ideas to their own clinical work by being able to recognize the emergence and patterning of emotional experience. ·
  • Discuss a vision of the clinical narrative as an emergent property of the larger relational and historical system of which each of us in an integral constituent. ·
  • Assess and clarify their own implicit attitudes about human nature, the origins of emotional experience, and the meaning-making process, and how this impacts the therapeutic process. ·
  • Analyze and discuss how the presented clinical material illustrates psychoanalytic complexity theory. ·
  • Compare and contrast one’s own theoretical understanding and clinical approach with psychoanalytic complexity theory and clinical approach.


Register online and pay by credit card at EventBrite


Mail the registration form with your check (payable to ICP&P) to: ICP&P, 4601 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 8, Washington, DC 20008


Early Registration: ICP&P Member $110.00, Non Member $140.00, Students $50.00

Late Registration (after Nov. 12th): ICP&P Member $140.00, Non Member $170.00, Students $65.00

Continuing Education Credit

6.25 CE credits available for full attendance

The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis (ICP&P) maintains responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this educational program. ICP&P is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. ICP&P is approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category I continuing education credit. Because ICP&P has approval from the Maryland Board, CE credits hours awarded by ICP&P may also be claimed by social workers licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia. These continuing education credits meet the ANCC approval standards for nurses and the approved standards for marriage & family therapists. Attendees from the above professional groups will earn 6.25 CE credits for attending the conference. Full attendance is required to receive the designated CE credit. ICP&P is accredited by MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ICP&P designates this educational activity for a maximum of 6.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity

ICP&P received no financial support for this program.