Transcendence: A Contemporary View of Therapeutic Change

Frank Summers, PhD


This program was offered on Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Who’s Who of Frank Summers

Frank Summers, PhD is a dynamic speaker who has won numerous teaching awards.  He will capture your attention with lots of clinical examples to illustrate his points, and focuses on engaging the audience rather than reading a paper.  Dr. Summers is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis, a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the Feinburg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and holds several other faculty positions in various institutions across the country.  The emphasis in his contributions has been on the translation of insight into concrete emotional and behavioral changes by bringing to fruition the latent potential of the client. He is the President, Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association.  See his website for a list of his scholarly work,

Program Description

Dr. Summers will present an in-depth contemporary concept of how psychoanalytic therapy achieves its mutative effects.  He will give a brief history of the most influential views of therapeutic action and articulate their strengths and weaknesses, in order to demonstrate the need for a modern conceptualization. Through theoretical constructs and clinical examples, Dr. Summers will show that interpretation is rarely sufficient for the analytic process to achieve its goals.  However, many of the historically proposed strategies suggested as supplements to interpretation are also found wanting.  He proposes that many of the contemporary attempts to improve the theory of therapeutic action can be incorporated into the concept of transcendence.  He will discuss how the analytic space must open in order for the patient to utilize interpretation and to create new ways of being and relating.  He will offer a dual model of therapeutic action wherein interpretation serves as preparatory ground for analytic change, and is followed by a second phase that utilizes Winnicott’s concept of transitional space.  This understanding can be utilized to create new ways of being and relating.  Dr. Summers will provide clinical examples to show how this model has been used to achieve psychic change in a variety of patients.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the difference between the theories of therapeutic action found in classic ego psychology, self psychology, relational theory, and the concept of transcendence.
  2. List the reasons the “interpretation only” model of psychoanalytic therapy has been abandoned by many contemporary analytic theorists and schools.
  3. Describe the difference between a content and process model of therapeutic change.
  4. Explain the concept of transcendence in psychoanalytic theory.
  5. Delineate the ways in which the concept of potential space  is useable in psychoanalytic therapy.
  6. Describe the ways in which the therapist’s behavior is different when using a model of potential space and transcendence.

Continuing Education Credit

3.0 CE credits available for full attendance
The Institute of Contemporary Psychology and Psychoanalysis (ICP&P) maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 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 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 standards for nurses and the approved standards for marriage and family therapists. Attendees from the above professional groups will earn 3.0 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 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

* Frank Summers, PhD has informed us that he does not have a conflict of interest and has disclosed that he has no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests pertaining to this educational activity. Additionally, the presenter has been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during his presentations. This presentation will not contain any references to off-label (non-FDA-approved) use of products or devices.