Director’s Column – Roger Segalla
Let me begin this month’s column by wishing each and everyone a Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to take a little break over the holidays and that you feel rested and ready to reengage in the important work we do in helping people feel better about themselves and their lives!
I also want to remind you that you are not alone in your interest in self and relational psychology. The interest in these theories and their practice is growing rapidly in the US and around the world and I want to encourage all of you to connect with these other like-minded professionals through membership in the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP).
ICP+P is a proud and official Institutional Member of this large international network of psychoanalytic institutes and clinicians that are oriented toward the theories and clinical applications of contemporary self psychology. Each year the IAPSP produces an annual international conference that brings together traditional and contemporary self psychologists to present and discuss new developments in psychoanalytic theory and treatment. IAPSP embraces two primary, intertwined purposes. First, it retains its foundational purpose: the study, research, development, and practice of psychoanalytic self psychology. Second, in responding to challenges levied against traditional notions of the concept of self as embodied in Kohut’s original work, it expands the reach of our foundational purpose. As a result, IAPSP currently encompasses contemporary notions of a dynamic systems sensibility, findings from infant and neurobiological research, and existential and epistemological philosophy.
Like ICP+P, the IAPSP is a membership organization and there are a number of advantages to joining. First, members receive a subscription to the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IJPSP), which is published by the IAPSP.
Membership in the IAPSP provides substantial member discounts for subscriptions to psychoanalytic journals and significant discounts on conference fees, enrollment in the IAPSP listserv (a great referral source), access to the IAPSP eForum, access to online forums, and a 20% member discount on all psychoanalytic books purchased through Mental Health Resources. As a member of the IAPSP, you’ll have the opportunity to run for and elect members of the IAPSP International Council (which is the governing body of IAPSP).
As an Institutional Member of the IAPSP, ICP+P members are afforded a 10% discount on individual membership in the IAPSP. Registration is now open for the 2015 membership year and this is a great time to reap the benefits of membership in this thriving organization of like-minded clinicians. I hope each of you will consider becoming a member of the IAPSP and attending their annual conferences. I’m sure that you will find it to be a rewarding experience both personally and professionally!
For more information on the IAPSP you can go to their website at: https://psychologyoftheself.
To go directly to the membership application go to: https://www.
Note from the Editor – Jonathan Lebolt, PhD, LCSW, CGP
Welcome to a New Year! and a new name for our newsletter. We’re changing the name from ICP+P Update to ICP+P Connections to reflect more accurately what we do: study, teach, and practice self psychological intersubjective and relational approaches, via our training programs, and create community through conferences, short courses, study groups, our website, and-last, but not least-our newsletter.
This month’s issue includes what I hope will be the first in a series of reports from our study groups. These groups are one of our greatest assets-joining one was the original reason I and many others have become members of ICP+P. Are you curious what is going on in other study groups? Interested in joining an additional group? Would you like to share what you’re learning? My hope is that Connections will ultimately feature a report from each study group about their learning.
Two considerations that are worthy of note:
- If you would like to submit a study group report, please check in with your group to make sure all members are comfortable with this, and to discuss how to ensure confidentiality.
- If you’d like to join a group, please contact Debra Caplowe, the Coordinator of Study Groups at email@example.com; she will guide you through the process. A listing of study groups for 2014 – 2016 may be found at our website at https://icpeast.org/icpp-
conferences/institute-of- contemporary-psychotherapy- psychoanalysis-15/.
Our February newsletter will include our first review of an issue of the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, from the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, of which ICP+P is a member. At the heart of this issue is an article by Lynne M. Jacobs, PhD, PsyD, Learning to Love White Shame and Guilt: Skills for Working as a White Therapist in a Racially Divided Country, and responses. If you haven’t yet seen Black Psychoanalysts Speak, the 60 minute PEP (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing) video that Roger Segalla, PhD, recommended, I urge you to view it at https://www.pep-web.org/
Please contact me at (804) 683-4536 or Therapy@Doctor-Jon.com if you’re interested in reviewing a journal article, issue, or book, or submitting a study group report, original artwork, or poetry. Let’s make 2015 the best year ever for ICP+P, our clients, our loved ones, and ourselves!
Call for Vignettes for Annual Conference on May 2nd, 2015
The Many Faces of Eros: Countertransference Revelations, with Andrea Celenza, PhD
John Gershefski, PhD
For our upcoming Annual Conference on working with erotic counter/transference in psychotherapy, we are seeking brief vignettes from clinicians. The clinician will present her/his vignette at the conference in 5 minutes or less. The vignettes will describe a moment that highlights erotic, sensual, or sexualized tension between patient and therapist in which various, genuinely therapeutic, responses could be adopted.
The selected vignettes will be presented briefly, followed by 5 minutes for Dr. Celenza’s response, and 10 minutes of audience discussion. The program committee intends to select 4 vignettes that represent a range of situations.
If you are interested in presenting, please submit a paragraph explaining the clinical situation by Valentines Day, February, 14, 2015 (how fitting!!). Please forward your case to John Gershefski through whatever means you are comfortable. Email: JGershefsk@aol.com, Mail: 6809 Whittier Blvd. Bethesda, MD 20817, or fax 301-263-1189. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact John at 301-263-1115.
Review of the 3rd Annual Bruce Wine Memorial Conference: A Play Reading of The Great God Pan
Maxine Arnsdorf, PhD and Jen Sermoneta, PsyD
Reflecting on our recent Bruce Wine Memorial Conference, a non-clinician attendee recalled feeling “dread” as she drove to the event. “I was prepared to find a quiet corner and disappear as silently as I had arrived. Entering a packed theater of accomplished psychiatrists and psychotherapists, I was greeted by a caring and comfortable environment and was able to focus on my reason for attending – further understanding of the lifelong effects of early childhood ‘asteroid strikes.'”
The program included Red Well Theater Group’s dramatic reading of Amy Herzog’s The Great God Pan, dyadic and large group work, and comments by Christine Courtois, PhD. The play portrays a young man facing one of those “asteroid strikes” in the form of a revelation that he may have been sexually molested in youth, and opens windows into some of the possible repercussions the abuse and secrecy/implicit knowing had on his family and relationships. The play and discussions together explored complex issues of trauma and memory processes, the impact of childhood sexual abuse on adult intimate relationships, the destabilizing effects of family secrets, and the complex impact of truth-seeking.
Robert Schulte, MSW, Founding Director of Red Well Theater Group (RWTG), expertly guided the performance. The group’s actors are also therapists who are united by a love of theater and a commitment to group psychotherapy training. The cast of The Great God Pan included Kavita Avula, PhD, Connor Dale, LPC, John Dluhy, MD, Mary Dluhy, MSW, Liz Marsh, MSW, Yavar Moghimi, MD, Rosemary Segalla, PhD and Rob Williams, MSW. Music by Tom Teasley added yet another, non-verbal, dimension.
Immediately after the play reading, audience members had the opportunity to spend 15 minutes discussing their reactions with a neighbor. Then, after a brief break, Christine Courtois, PhD offered insightful commentary about the difficulties of working with individuals who have had traumatic experiences like the one depicted in the play. The conference concluded with a large group discussion facilitated by Joyce Lowenstein, PhD. An attendee remarked, “the opportunity for two-person and whole group discussion helped to bring further understanding of how traumatic experience relates to memory and relationships. It also showed the immense responsibility of the therapist in finding the delicate balance between jogging memory and suggesting ideas beyond what might have been real.”
Perhaps there is some comfort, and there is certainly good practice, in sharing awareness of the serious and delicate considerations involved in trauma work. It is never easy. One clinician commented on feeling that the afternoon was a “clarion call for us to continue our work with renewed empathy and energy… The program design so amplified the effects, I am still filled with singing echoes.”
This year’s conference was characterized by many of the values Bruce Wine embodied and modeled: intellectual curiosity and honesty, collaboration and co-creation of relationships, striving to perform our craft with excellence, and maintaining a warm ambiance for learning. Joyce Lowenstein introduced the day and MaryAnn Dubner, PhD offered a touching personal tribute to Bruce, recalling her friendship and professional collaboration with him.
Bob Schulte summed the experience up nicely, “Our work at RWTG is premised on group principles, and our joint collaboration with you to present the 3rd Bruce Wine Memorial Conference honors those principles… Bruce would have been delighted.”
The Bruce Wine Conference is co-sponsored by ICP+P and the Bruce Wine Memorial Fund. The event was held on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at the Georgetown Day School Auditorium. It was planned by Maxine Arnsdorf, Joyce Lowenstein, Bob Schulte and Roger Segalla, with the support of Jen Sermoneta and Eleanor Howe.
The Red Well Theater Group offers experiential learning for the group therapist-as-actor through dramatic play readings and for the therapist-as-audience member through a bearing witness experience and shared reflection. Red Well’s goals are to illuminate themes of recognition and well being both in and beyond the therapy group, to deepen the therapist’s empathy for the challenge of being in a group, and to provide a vitalizing experience in support of a therapist’s self care. They can be found online at https://redwelltheater.com/.
Study Group Report – Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
Jonathan Lebolt, PhD, DCSW, CGP
I joined ICP+P last summer because I felt a yearning for the sense of psychoanalytic community that I felt when I lived in New York until eleven years ago, when I moved to Richmond, VA. I had learned of ICP+P’s study groups from a colleague, and I figured that I could manage the monthly trek to the DC area. I remembered that a very smart fellow candidate in psychoanalytic training in New York in the 1990s spoke of his admiration of Philip Bromberg, so when I saw that there was an interpersonal study group at ICP+P that focused on Bromberg’s work, my interest was piqued. I sent my registration to Debra Caplowe, MSW, our hard-working coordinator of study groups, and spoke with the group’s facilitator, David Wyner, MSW, via telephone. I immediately resonated with David’s quirky sense of humor, and I was interested to learn that he had been in supervision groups with New York clinicians whom I greatly admired, including the great Stephen Mitchell, founder of relational psychoanalysis. A few weeks later, I was braving the Friday morning traffic of the I-95 corridor on the way to my first study group meeting.
It was delightful to meet fellow travelers who are passionate about psychoanalysis: David, who has a private practice in Germantown and New York; Janet Dante, MSW, a graduate of ICP+P’s analytic program, a private practitioner, and a long-term member of the group; Joanie Hesse, LCPC, also in private practice, with a PhD in Genetics; and Rachel Hewitt, LGSW, who practices at the MPB group, in their outpatient mental health clinic. I met Shoshana Ringel, PhD, LCSW-C, at the second meeting; I knew of her from her articles in Clinical Social Work Journal. She is on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Social Work and has a private practice, and she, too, is a graduate of the ICP+P program in psychoanalysis.
In our first study group meeting, we reviewed Chapter One of Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys, the book by Bromberg which we are reading this year. Subtitled “When Reality Blinks,” this introductory chapter clarifies that Bromberg is continuing the exploration of dissociative self-states that he began in Standing in the Spaces, which the group read last year. Borrowing from the philosopher, Hipolyte Taine, Bromberg suggests that we all have multiple “selves,” like actors on a stage; reality “blinks” in the moment that we switch from one to the other. (The phrase, “reality blinks,” is taken from a poet, Albert Goldbarth.) Bromberg then quotes the chorus of Oscar Hammerstein’s popular song, I Whistle a Happy Tune, one of my favorites since childhood, a song that has helped me feel brave when afraid. Bromberg observes that to “whistle a happy tune” when afraid makes the mind “blink” and adopt a “careless pose.” Bravery then becomes, for the moment, the organizing principle of a new “self.”
In the next chapter, “Bringing in the Dreamer,” Bromberg discusses how he uses here-and-now phenomenological questions to help the analysand re-experience dreams in the analytic hour. He also addresses dissociative enactments, where the “personal and professional” of the analyst can become blurred. This spurred a discussion of one of my group therapy clients, “N.” N expressed anger in a telephone call in a seething but stilted fashion, using what I imagined to be his wife’s words (she is a therapist), when I explained I needed to charge him for a missed appointment. The study group members helped me see that, while I consciously feared N’s anger, I was dissociating my own. We noted how I “blanked out” about N’s family history (which, it turns out, included maternal mental illness and paternal violence). Using the study group’s support and feedback, I was able to facilitate a discussion of the feelings of N, the other therapy group members, and myself about the conflict in the next therapy group session, leading to my and N’s better understanding each other, and to his agreeing to recommence individual therapy to supplement group treatment.
In our last study group meeting, we noted how Bromberg elucidates both normative and pathological dissociation, and we hypothesized a spectrum of the experience of different parts of the self, ranging from occasional alienation, depersonalization, or derealization to full-blown dissociative identity disorder, as we began discussing a patient with that diagnosis. I look forward to further discussion of this and other cases, as they relate to Bromberg’s work. The Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis Study Group meets on second Fridays from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at David’s lovely home office in Germantown, and we have openings for new members. If you are interested in joining, first contact Debra Caplowe at firstname.lastname@example.org. David may be reached at (718) 884-9574.
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of reports from ICP+P study groups. If you would like to submit a report, please contact Jonathan Lebolt, PhD, LCSW, CGP at Therapy@Doctor-Jon.com.
Members in the Arts
- Rachel Hewitt will be performing on violin in Paris and Vienna: A Tale of Two Cities, a concert of the Symphony of the Potomac, on Sunday, February 8th at 3 pm, at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, Silver Spring, MD. For more info, go to https://www.symphonypotomac.
News and Notes
- You are invited to a joint book signing featuring ICP+P’s Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP. Her two newly published books, It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You and Spiritually-Oriented Treatment of Trauma, will be available. The book signing is February 6th at 7:00 pm, at the Capitol Grille in Friendship Heights. There will also be an introduction to a new residential trauma addiction treatment program Christine is affiliated with, Brightwater Landing in Wrightsville, PA outside of York, PA. If you can attend, please RSVP to
- New Study Group Forming: Psychotherapy with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients
- Cleveland Park, with ample street parking; one Friday a month at approximately 3:15 pm. Meet to discuss cases and the literature. Primary text is Trans Bodies, Trans Selves by Laura Erickson-Schroth and Jennifer Finney Boylan.
- Which Friday in the month and exact meeting time are still to be decided. Contact clinicians: Marge Coffey, LCSW-C, 301-802-4971, margecoffeymsw@
verizon.net, and Lucy Pugh, PhD, 202-365-7379, lucypugh@ gmail.com, for questions.
- Psychotherapy Supervision Group to begin in early February, 2015
From a broadly psychodynamic standpoint, our group will focus on the use of the therapist’s self in psychotherapy, while also paying attention to contextual and cultural factors surrounding the clinical work. Group members will present cases on a rotating basis, and also serve as case consultants to other members. Group process will be used to illuminate the psychology of client, therapist, and their jointly created relationship, and also to clarify the therapeutic process itself
- The group will meet weekly on Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. at 5225 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 310, in Friendship Heights (across from the Jenifer St. entrance to the Friendship Heights Metro Station), Washington, DC 20015.
- Fee is set at $85 per weekly 75 minute session.
- Group Leaders are:
- Contemporary Approaches to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program OUTREACH GROUPICP+P’s CAPP Program is offering a six (6) week discussion group for advanced graduate students, or interested clinicians with a focus on the basic tenets of Self Psychology. It would be particularly useful for people who are considering further training in a self- psychological and relational orientation.
- Dates: The group will meet on six Thursday evenings. March 12, 19, 26 and April 9, 16, & 23.
- Time: 7:15 to 8:30 pm
- Place: ICP+P Office, 4601 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 8, Washington, DC
- Cost: There is no fee for this group.
- Leader: Gail Winston, LICSW is a Founding Member and has served on the Board of ICP+P. She is also a graduate from the ICP+P Couples Training Program. Currently she is facilitating one of the Institute’s study groups on The Reading of Novels and Memoirs through the Lens of a Psychotherapist. Gail has maintained a private practice in Washington, DC for over 30 years, focusing on individuals and couples.
- Shoshanna Ringel, PhD, LCSW-C, in collaboration with Faye Mishna, will be presenting a paper titled: “Developing a Reflective Self in Cyberspace”, at the IARRP conference in Toronto, June 25-28.
- Sunday, January 18, 2015, 1:00-3:00 pm – Short Course – Insights from the Adult Attachment Interview: Implications for Analytic Therapy with Patients with Unresolved Loss and Trauma with Shoshana Ringel, PhD, at the ICP+P Office.
- Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 7:00-9:00 pm – Short Course – A Conversation with Joe Lichtenberg: Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask About Motivational Systems and Contemporary Self Psychology with Joseph D. Lichtenberg, MD, Bethesda, MD. Click here to register.
- Saturday, February 7, 2015, 1:00-3:00 pm – Short Course – Comparing Self Psychological Approaches to Sadism & Masochism with the Approaches of Freudian & Kleinian Drive Theorists with John McComb, PhD, MSW, at the ICP+P office. Click here to register.
- Saturday, February 28, 2015, 9:00 am-12:30 pm – ICP+P presents Expanding Self and Relational Capacities: Psychoanalysis as a Developmental Process with graduates and faculty of ICP+P’s Psychoanalytic Training Program, discussant Sandra Hershberg, MD, at the National 4-H Conference Center, Chevy Chase, MD. Click here to register.
- Sunday, March 8, 2015 1:00-3:00 pm – Short Course – The Yin and the Yang of Psychoanalytic Transformation: Balancing the Explicit & Implicit Processes That Promote Growth with Elizabeth M. Carr, APRN, MSN, BC at the ICP+P office.
- Sunday, April 26, 1:00-3:00 pm – Short Course – Varieties of Interaction: Self Disclosure & Other Methods of the Analyst’s Use of Self with Rhoda Spindel, MSW, at the ICP+P office.
- Saturday, May 2, 9:00 am-4:30 pm – 2015 Annual Conference ~ The Many Faces of Eros: Countertransference Revelations,with Andrea Celenza, PhD –
Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center, 3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20057. Click here to register.
- SUNNY, WELL PRICED DC PSYCHOTHERAPY OFFICE located in well-maintained Connecticut Avenue building between Chevy Chase Circle and Nebraska Avenue. It is part of a lovely four-office suite with waiting room, two bathrooms and a full kitchen. Friendly independent practitioners have Wifi access and ample street parking. Contact us at email@example.com or 202-362-6693.
- Subletting office in downtown Bethesda – The office is in a sunlit two-office suite with shared waiting room, three blocks from the metro. It is available from February: weekdays after3:30 pm and weekends.Please contact Sophia Coudenhove by phone or email, 202-821-5562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bethesda Office Space Available – Furnished office, 10′ X 10′ with window, is now available 3/4 time. Building is near Metro and parking garages. Suite has waiting room, kitchen, WiFi, water cooler, and copier/fax. Stable group of independent practitioners enjoys sharing the suite. If interested, contact Monica Callahan, Callahanml@erols.com, or 301-587-6211.
- Office Space Available – Share a lovely, sunny office in Tenleytown, steps from Metro. Beautifully furnished in a six-office suite with shared waiting room, restrooms, underground parking and garden entrance. Receptionist creates a welcoming atmosphere. Available 2 ½ days a week. Please contact Cynthia Rosenberg at email@example.com or 202-244-0998.
The next ICP+P Newsletter will be issued in February. Please e-mail articles, announcements, and artwork in JPG/PNG format to Jonathan Lebolt at Therapy@Doctor-Jon.com or Nancy Der at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, January 29, 2015.