Facing the Inevitable

Psychoanalytic Reflections on Mortality

with Gary Rodin, M.D., FRCPC

This program was offered on Saturday, March 7, 2009
National 4-H Conference Center, Chevy Chase, Maryland

Therapists and health professionals working with the terminally ill become engaged in the most profound questions related to the human condition. Until recently, the influence of psychoanalytic thinking on this area of practice has been minimal, yet there are few therapeutic encounters which hold such possibility for personal growth for both patients and providers.

Gary Rodin will present and discuss a number of recent developments in psychoanalytic theory related to working with patients facing advanced and terminal illness. He will introduce an approach to psychotherapeutic interaction which draws upon recent developments in psychoanalytic theory as well as findings from a systematic research project with terminally ill patients. The implications of this work will be discussed in terms of existential questions that inevitably arise and need to be addressed in all clinical work.

Learning Objectives

Based on the content of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the psychological response to impending mortality
  2. Explain the link between psychoanalytic theory and the treatment of patients with advanced and terminal disease
  3. Identify knowledge and skills that can be brought to therapeutic engagement with patients who are facing the end of life and with all patients facing existential questions related to the human condition

There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

Gary Rodin, M.D., FRCPC, is a psychoanalyst who holds a Joint University of Toronto/University Health Network Chair in Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care based at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Rodin is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto who has published widely on the psychosocial aspects of medical illness and who has authored texts on Depression in the Medically Ill, and on the Psychiatric Aspects of Transplantation. He currently leads a research team investigating the psychological impact of advanced and terminal disease on affected patients and their families.


ICP&P members: No charge

Non-members: Early Registration (before February 21): $75, Regular Registration (after February 21): $90

Full time graduate students: $35


Three CE credits 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 I continuing education credit. Because ICP&P has received this approval from the Maryland Board, CE credit hours awarded by ICP&P may also be claimed by social workers licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia. The continuing education credits meet the ANCC approval for nurses.