Treating Chronic Illness with Self Psychology

Short Course

Adina Shapiro, LCSW

This program was offered on Friday May 15, 2009, 1-4 pm

This course will explore the challenges of treating patients with a variety of chronic illnesses. Using principles and readings from self psychology as well as case examples, emphasis will be placed on finding a balance between understanding the psychological functions that illness can serve and providing support in facing physical realities and limitations. There will be time for discussions and questions.

At the conclusion of the short course participants will be able to:

  • Explain the principles of working with chronic illness and the dilemmas that it presents.
  • Discuss the self psychology approach to working with illness.
  • Demonstrate and explicate the complexities of the impact of illness on interpersonal relationships, including the therapeutic relationship.
  • Master techniques to help patients manage the pain, distress and fears that accompany chronic illness.
  • Explore how to manage countertransference issues, such as induced hopelessness and rescue fantasies.

Adina Shapiro, LCSW is on the faculty of the Psychoanalytic Training Program at ICP&P and an adjunct associate professor at VCU School of Social Work. She completed her training at Postgraduate Center in NYC and maintains a private practice in McLean, VA and Washington, DC with a special interest in chronic illness and eating disorders.


ICP&P members: $60

Non-members: $90


Inquiries may be directed to, or you may call ICP&P at 202-686-9300, Ext. 5.


3 CE credit hours will be awarded for full attendance of the program. ICP&P is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ICP&P has been approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category 1 continuing education credit. Because ICP&P has received approval from the Maryland Board, Credit 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 for nurses.