Patient:“I think you might have prejudice against people like me, and you don’t understand and don’t really care about people like me as much as you do understand and care about your other patients who are more like you.”
Therapist: “I do care about you and, even though we are different from each other in some respects, I believe I have understood a lot. Could it be that you might be experiencing me this way because of all you have been through?”
In this clinical exchange, the therapist is openly disclosing aspects of her feelings and intentions in a manner that many psychotherapists might, but she is failing to be open—radically open—to the possible truths contained in what her patient is conveying to her.
Every psychotherapist has had the experience of being seen, by the people whom we are trying to help, in ways that are different from how we see ourselves. Therapeutic dialogues across the borders of diversity can intensify this dynamic. It can be extremely difficult, for example, to have the subjective experience of feeling dedicated and engaged but, in contrast, be experienced by the person we are working with as detached. Or, similarly, we may have the challenging experience of having predominantly benevolent feelings as we strive to be of help, but being experienced, nevertheless as dangerous or malevolent. Often, as psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists, we rely on the concepts of projection and transference to emotionally protect ourselves and sustain us, as we attempt to survive and make therapeutic use of the experience of feeling misrecognized.
This workshop offers an introduction to the presenter’s concept of “radical openness” as an alternative to a stance of emphasizing transference conceptualization and interpretation. Fleshing out the concept, we will engage in case-based exercises designed to enhance our abilities to listen openly and receptively to communications that we might otherwise be inclined to experience, both intellectually and emotionally, as misplaced or foreign. In short, a stance of radical openness will be shown to seek to receive our patients’ strange experiences of us as if they are bound to contain personal truths and insights, for both them and us alike.
At the conclusion of this conference, participants will be able to:
Discuss the anxieties associated with engaging issues of diversity, difference and otherness.
Recognize and discuss the central roles of curiosity and radical openness as antidotes to cultural ignorance and insensitivity, and be able to cultivate such qualities in themselves and in their patients.
Recognize and discuss pitfalls and breakdowns that can occur in diversity-related explorations and find ways to use these in the service of the restoration of open dialogue.
Enhance their capacity for receptive engagement in the psychotherapeutic process by implementing a stance of radical openness.
This conference is appropriate for mental health professionals at all levels of experience and offers 3 Diversity CEs.
About our presenter:
Dr. Hart is a Training and Supervising Analyst, former Fellow, and on the Faculty of the William Alanson White Institute where he teaches and supervises in several training programs including the (Division I) Psychoanalytic Training Program, the Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions Service Program (EDCAS), the Couples Therapy Training and Education Program (CTTEP), and the Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program for Russian Speakers (RIPPP). He supervises at Teachers College, Columbia University and at the Derner Institute of Adelphi University. He teaches at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, at Mt. Sinai Hospital, at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies National Program, and at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Psychoanalytic Psychology and Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He is a Co-Founder of the White Institute’s monthly Study Group on Race and Psychoanalysis (SGORAP) and the Institute’s Center for Public Mental Health (CPMH). He serves as Chair of the Diversities Section of the Department of Psychoanalytic Education (DPE) of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is in full-time private practice of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, supervisory consultation, and organizational consultation in New York City.
ICP+P 4601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 8 Washington, DC 20008
Continuing education credit: 3 CE credits available for full attendance. The Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. ICP+P maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ICP+P is approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category I continuing education credit. As our CE program receives oversight from a licensed social worker, the CE credits we award are highly likely to be recognized by licensing boards in Virginia and the District of Columbia. These continuing education credits meet the ANCC standards for nurses. Marriage and family therapists licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia may submit these CE credits to their licensing boards. (Marriage and family therapists in other jurisdictions and licensed counselors should inquire with their local Boards regarding continuing education credit.) Attendees from the above professional groups will earn 3.0 CE credits for attending the CE activity. 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.
* Anton H. Hart, PhD, FABP and the planners have informed us that they do not have a conflict of interest and have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationship with any commercial interests pertaining to this educational activity. Additionally, the presenters have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during this presentation. This presentation will not contain any references to off-label (non-FDA approved) use of products or devices.
CE Credit is granted to participants with documented attendance at individual workshops and completed evaluation forms for those sessions. Credit will not be granted to registrants who are more than 15 minutes late or depart more than 15 minutes early from a session. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow time to check in.