Our work presents us with the opportunity to approach our clients in a loosely held tension between discipline and spontaneity. Sometimes we respond to a patient in a way that surprises us and yet opens the client to freedom, and opens the therapeutic relationship going forward. These transactions aren’t programmed; what is programmed is the practice that both therapist and patient bring to their joint endeavor.
Moments of leadership often happen in parallel fashion. In a group setting, one can’t predict whose mouth will proffer pearls of wisdom or an expression that sets something amazing in motion. As an example, I’d like to share an event, one that became a model scene for me – a model scene of how a large group’s adherence to its tenets provides a rich and fertile climate for grappling with and solving community concerns. Productive ideas arise out of a loosely held tension between spontaneity and discipline and may arise, unprogrammed, from any member.
For several years, I attended Adelphi Friends meeting, a nearby Quaker meeting. I began at a time when each of my parents was critically ill and they were living away from their home and support system. I needed a foundation on which to find a footing, to get me through the dread gripping me. The worship experience matched my need, and so for several years I became a regular attender.
You may not know that Quakers worship in silence as a corporal body. Individuals bend their attention inward toward what they believe is a capacity to discern Truth, which is considered to be Light, or Love. Quakers believe that worshipping together creates a unique capacity for discernment that is different and greater than what one individual might achieve. The worship hour starts with some shuffling of body parts, coughs, looking around, but gradually, and ideally, a meeting finds a felt center as a group. The silent worship is broken when a participant feels moved to stand to share an insight or Truth. Their belief is that the insight ought to be shared, and that because the Truth that is discerned arises from the group’s effort, it is likely to be meaningful to many.
One day, when the meeting was quiet, a man in one of the front rows stood and began “preaching” non-stop. He appeared to be someone not of the community, but known to some. He was obviously speaking from his religious tradition. I wondered if there was a psychotic process. Whatever motivated him, his behavior was profoundly violating the sanctity of this meetinghouse. Some members stood without speaking in what is apparently a tradition of protest. The outsider was undeterred and continued loudly on with a fire-and-brimstone rant. It went on and on. Tension and unhappiness inside me grew. I wondered, “Do Quakers – who cherish non-violence — ever escort someone out?”
And then: A woman I knew to be a regular attender began to sing. She wasn’t a known leader of the community. If anything, I viewed her as possibly rigid. Still, it was she who initiated a solution to our shared dilemma. I didn’t know the hymn, but obviously many others did. Calmly they joined in. The outsider continued to speak as the congregation gently sang. His rant and the singing co-occurred. What a well-chosen song on her part – It had so many verses! At some point I began to hear its words and to pay it attention and I realized that was because I no longer heard the voice of the preaching intruder. The group singing had incorporated his rant, had met him with calm and steady persistence, and finally and peacefully he yielded. After awhile, the singing concluded. Everyone standing sat down and we resumed our corporate meditation. The preacher remained seated in the front row. Not expelled. Accepting of a group solution.
This event became a model scene for me: That when a group adheres to its wisdom, when it resists the temptation to break away from its well-vetted precepts, when it accepts that its processes will hold true, any member may reveal an idea that solves what seemed such a thorny problem.
This truism is important for ICP+P. Our eyes are big. We undertake much and provide well-crafted learning opportunities in many formats. We rely on a large pool of volunteers to create and coordinate our varied activities.
We will be holding a planning meeting in September, one in which our membership will examine the full range of our aspirations and the capacities of our volunteer labor pool to actualize them. This examination constitutes a natural developmental step in our organization’s life, a time to take stock and to affirm our priorities and commitments. I enjoy working within the warm, striving “can-do” culture of ICP+P and our commitment to a non-hierarchical governance of our professional community. Like others, I’ll share any knowledge that seems useful and will share in maintaining a space that is fertile for suggestions, frameworks and solutions. Drawing from my model scene, I cherish trusting the process and not knowing in advance from whom will come the words, actions, and ideas that ultimately frame our conversation. The way will open.
Call for Submissions for Clinical Reflections Day Due by October 1, 2019
by Dawn Taylor
Clinical Reflections Day is Saturday, February 22, 2020
This conference, formerly known as Scientific Day, is an opportunity for ICP+P members to present clinical material to the membership at large.
We are looking for presentations that educate the audience and generate rich discussion. Articles, case presentations, experiential sessions, psychodrama, creative writing and other art forms, and therapeutic or educational use of media are all examples of approaches we would welcome. In general, we encourage you to think creatively about ways of sharing your concepts or insights. All work is expected to be rooted in contemporary psychoanalytic thought.
Members are invited to submit a paper or other media form and, if necessary, a note about how it will be shared with the audience. To make this event successful and welcoming, we will facilitate consultation and guidance to help each presenter.Each presenter will have 30-35 minutes, followed by 15-20 minutes for discussion. We plan to have three speakers.
Please send your submission to Dawn Taylor, Conference Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1st. The Clinical Reflections Committee will then review the applications. We look forward to sharing the insights and creativity of our excellent community!
Call for Clinical Vignettes for Mark Blechner Conference in September
Mark Blechner will be speaking on The Evolving Landscape of Gender and Sexuality: Clinical Implications, at our fall conference on September 28, 2019. In order to give Dr. Blechner the opportunity to discuss a variety of clinical situations, we are seeking brief vignettes that address clinical issues surrounding gender and sexual diversity.
Vignettes should be 2 -3 pages, or approximately five minutes when read aloud. Each vignette will be read by its author, followed by 5 minutes for Dr. Blechner’s response and 10 minutes of audience discussion. If an author would prefer not to read their vignette aloud, someone from the program committee is available to read it (this is the same format as the Andrea Celenza conference a few years back). The program committee will select four vignettes. We are particularly hoping to have a diversity of clinicians and clinical situations represented, and participants of all experience levels are invited to submit. The conference committee will review and select the vignettes to be used, based on clinical formulation, writing and diversity of issues represented. Submissions should be emailed to Dr. Janna Sandmeyer at JannaSandmeyer@me.com by August 15, 2019. Please feel free to email Janna with any questions.
Upcoming Training + Education
Circling the Chairs: Starting Groups in Private Practice
Friday, September 20, 2019 from 12:30-3:45 pm ~ ICP+P Office, 4601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 8, Washington, DC 20008
Launching a group can be one of the most challenging tasks you face as a group therapist. It is easy to get stuck because you are unsure what to do next. In this workshop participants will explore the potential pitfalls of starting a group and learn how to avoid them. Using practical advice that is grounded in group theory, participants are guided through a stepwise process of launching a group.
At the conclusion of the short course, attendees will be able to:
Define the parameters (open, closed, time-limited, population, etc.) and focus of the group they want to start.
Evaluate how to identify and connect with referral sources, and to promote your group, to ensure a successful group therapy experience for the participants.
Identify the important elements of forming a group.
Plan how to launch a group.
This program is appropriate for introductory and intermediate level clinicians and offers 3 CEs.
Dr. Sandmeyer will present her Ralph Roughton award winning paper, “Understanding Homophobia in our Forefathers: Rethinking How Kohut Actually Worked.” In this presentation, we will explore the impact of Jule Miller’s (1985) account of his supervision with Heinz Kohut, depicted in Miller’s seminal paper, “How Kohut Actually Worked.”
Through the lens of contemporary self psychology, we will revisit the supervision with an eye toward leading edge interpretations that support the patient’s same-sex striving as a healthy expression of his sexuality. We will consider the context of the times in which the supervision occurred, as well as more personal and theoretical factors that may have influenced Kohut and Miller’s thinking. Dr. Blechner will bring his decades of experience as an analyst working with LGBTQ people to this discussion, in which attendees will be encouraged to participate.
At the conclusion of this pre-conference, attendees will be able to:
Describe the clinical principles that exemplified Kohut’s way of thinking toward the end of his life.
Identify the heterosexist and homophobic aspects of Jule Miller’s (1985) article, ‘How Kohut Actually Worked.’
Describe correctives for the heterosexist and homophobic aspects of Jule Miller’s (1985) article, ‘How Kohut Actually Worked.’
This conference is appropriate for mental health professionals at all levels of experience and offers 2 LGBTQ/Diversity CEs.
Attitudes and social norms about sexuality and gender identification are changing rapidly, both culturally and clinically. Please join us as Dr. Mark Blechner addresses how these changes impact psychotherapeutic aims and practices. In his clinically based presentation, Dr. Blechner will explore countertransference dilemmas and ways that therapists can use them productively. Several case presentations will be presented. This conference is geared toward therapists at all levels of clinical experience, and all degrees of familiarity with issues surrounding sexuality and gender.
At the conclusion of this conference, participants will be able to:
Discuss issues of gender, sexual orientation, and sexual problems that are commonly seen in psychotherapy today;
Analyze the influence of culture on these issues and explain how personal beliefs and attitudes affect clinical work;
Prepare a strategy for educating yourself about sexual issues well beyond the training offered in mental health programs, and describe ways of dealing with transference and countertransference dilemmas that affect such work.
This conference is appropriate for mental health professionals at all levels of experience and offers 3 LGBTQ/Diversity CEs.
September 20, 2019, Short Course – “Circling the Chairs: Starting Groups in Private Practice” with Rob Williams, LICSW, CGP, Liz Marsh, MSW, LICSW, Art Therapist, David A. Heilman, PsyD, Jennifer McLish, LCSW. ICP+P Office, 4601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 8, Washington, DC 20008, 12:30 – 3:45 pm (3 CEs). Register Here.
September 27, 2019, Pre-Conference – “Understanding Homophobia in our Forefathers: Rethinking How Kohut Actually Worked” with Janna Sandmeyer, PhD with Mark Blechner, PhD as discussant. Silver Spring Civic Building, 3:30-5:30 pm, 2 CEs. Fulfills LGBTQ/Diversity credit requirement. Register Here.
September 28, 2019, Conference – “The Evolving Landscape of Gender and Sexuality: Clinical Implications” with Mark J. Blechner, PhD, Silver Spring Civic Building, 9:00am-12:30pm, 3 CEs. Fulfills LGBTQ/Diversity credit requirement. Register Here.
November 15, 2019, Short Course – “Keeping the Body in Mind: Affect Regulation for Trauma Survivors” with Tally Tripp, LCSW, ATR-BC, CTT. ICP+P Office, 4601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 8, Washington, DC 20008, 12:30 – 3:45 pm (3 CEs).
December 7, 2019, Conference – with Anton H. Hart, PhD, Silver Spring Civic Building, 9:00am-12:30pm, 3 CEs. Fulfills Diversity credit requirement.
February 22, 2020, Conference – Clinical Reflections (previously Scientific Day), Silver Spring Civic Building, 9:00am-12:30pm, 3 CEs.
May 1, 2020, Pre-Conference – “Misogyny, Hatred and Envy” with Adrienne Harris, PhD
May 2, 2020, Conference – “Gender Fluidity and Gender Fixed: Contemporary Intersectional and Psychoanalytic Models of Gender and Gender Development” with Adrienne Harris, PhD. Georgetown University Conference Center, 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
News + Notes
Joanne Zucchetto, Simone Jacobs and Ly Vick Johnson have co-written “Understanding The Paradox of Surviving Childhood Trauma: Techniques and Tools for Working With Suicidality and Dissociation “ which was published by Routledge on July 25th.
After much consideration and planning, I have retired from my private practice in Atlanta and have relocated to Pawleys Island, S.C., where I’m involved in coastal environmental advocacy and have ample time to reflect and commune with the ambience of nature, especially the sea. For me, this has been quite a change and the right decision. Perhaps one day I’ll write about my retirement process since the literature is rather scant in this area.
My best to each of you,
Mary Earle Haynes, MN, APRN, BC
Shoshana Ringel has had two recent publications:
(2019) “Traumatic factors and dissociative narratives of unresolved loss in the AAI.” Attachment: New directions in psychotherapy and relational psychoanalysis, 13(1), 1-14.
(2019) “The role of culture and ethnicity in the long term treatment of childhood trauma.” In Lord, S. (ed). Reflections on long term relational psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. NY: Routledge, 74-85.
Another paper was just accepted for publication at Psychoanalytic Dialogues. The title is “Video communication and transgenerational shame in the mother/daughter bond.”
Education and Psychoanalysis: Enriching Awareness of the Contextualities of Contemporary Subjectivity, Co-Presenter: Leslie F. Smith, MSW
Looking for Love in All the Same Places: Accessibility, Shame, and Digital Collisions, Discussant: Marie Hellinger, MSW
The Complexity or Sameness and Difference in Needed Relationship, Presenter: Robert Benedetti, PhD, Moderator: Leslie F. Smith, MSW
Race, Melancholia, and the Fantasy of Whiteness, Presenter: Cherian Verghese, PhD
Gender as Perspective: The On-Going Psychoanalytic Privilege of the Penis, Discussant: Janna Sandmeyer, PhD
Metaphors of Agony: The Culture Bound Syndromes of Hyper-independence, Discussant: Rosemary Segalla, PhD
Suffering Together: When Accessing the Analyst’s Suffering Serves a Twinship Need, Discussant: Sandra Hershberg, MD
Revisiting Resistance: The Patient’s Effort to Make Therapy Work, Moderator: Lawrence Ballon, MD
Similarities, Dissimilarities, and Blind Spots in Therapeutic Relations, Discussant: Joseph Lichtenberg, MD
Meet-the-Author: Revisiting Charles B. Strozier’s Heinz Kohut, The Making of a Psychoanalyst, upon the occasion of its Hebrew translation’s publication, Moderator: Roger Segalla, PhD
Gendered Power and Powerlessness in a Clinical Dyad — Engaging the Limits of Empathy, Speaker: Elizabeth Carr, APRN, MSN, BC
Looking to rent an office part-time in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, or Connecticut ave. (Nebraska, Military Road areas …) starting September 1 (or earlier). Please contact Brigitte Ladisch, Ph.D, at 301-651 75 92 or email@example.com.
Full-time office space available in downtown Silver Spring. Lovely, sunny office, in a suite with two friendly, established psychotherapists. Large waiting room, kitchen and bathroom in suite. Please contact Leslie Kent at (301)589-8696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bethesda Office Space. Interior, furnished office (10′ x 9′) in attractive suite on the 11th floor of downtown Bethesda office building. Perfect for part-time or beginning practice. Five minute walk from Red Line. On street & county parking. Complementary coffee and tea for patients. Private, insuite restroom for therapists. Wifi and fax/copier, office cleaning included. Available August 1. Contact Jacob Melamed at 301-656-5360 or email email@example.com.
Seeking FT office in Bethesda. The office must be large enough for group therapy (6-8 members), have a window and have access to Metro and parking. Please contact Jonathan Lebolt, PhD at Therapy@Doctor-Jon.com or (240) 507-7696.
Space available in a longterm, experiential process group of high functioning, creative professionals. The age range is from 30 – 56 at present. This group meets on Tuesday evenings from 7 – 8:20 pm. Most clients are in concurrent, individual psychotherapy with me or the referring therapist. Therapists have self-referred themselves for the group. Clients are motivated for increasing relational capacity and personal development. The focus of the group is interpersonal. I’d be happy to talk with you if you have questions about whether this group might fit your client’s needs. ~ Tybe A. Diamond, MSW, BCD | O: 202.966.1381 |M: 202. 213. 9871 | http://www.tybediamond.com | 5225 Connecticut Ave., NW, Ste. 214, Washington, DC 20008.
Two Clinical Groups co-facilitated by Trish Cleary & Ginger Sullivan in downtown Bethesda. #1 – Process Group for Therapists. Ongoing long-term experiential group has openings. Read more… #2 – Clinical Training Group. New 4-Session case focused group starts in September. Read more…
Please join Deborah Fox for Couples Therapy Meets Sex Therapy, a monthly seminar and consultation group, focused on the intersection of sex therapy and couples therapy. If you are a couples therapist seeking to develop skills to help your couples with their sexual life, then this is for you. If you are a sex therapist seeking to deepen the emotional connection between partners, then this is for you, too. The format will be a didactic presentation focused on sex therapy skills each session followed by the opportunity for all participants to discuss cases. An application for CE credits from AASECT has been submitted. This seminar will include: a therapeutic approach to beginning the treatment process; Behavioral strategies; Educational components; Physical and emotional factors that contribute to low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and sexual inactivity; Interventions for those with history of sexual trauma, including somatic work; Interventions to employ when a couple becomes stuck. The seminar will meet for six sessions, 10:00-12:00 on Fridays at 4600 Connecticut Ave., NW. The dates are: Oct. 3, Nov 8, Dec 6, 2019 and Jan 10, Feb 7 and March 6, 2020. The fee is $540.00. Contact Deborah with any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-363-1740, www.debfox.com.